Gerald R. (Jerry) Zeigenfuse, 84, of Reading, passed away Saturday, January 14, 2018, at ManorCare Laureldale. He is the husband of Lois G. (Ulmer) Zeigenfuse. Born In West Reading, he was the son of the late Harry R. Zeigenfuse and Regina (Cronan) Zeigenfuse. Gerald was a 1950 graduate of Reading High School. He served in the United States Army during the Korean War from 1953-1955 and trained as a Guided Missile Technician at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL. He spent the remainder of his service as a pilot for radio controlled drones at White Sands Proving Grounds, NM. While on leave between his military assignments, Gerald married Lois G. Ulmer on October 10, 1953. After leaving the service, Gerald worked as a draftsman at Gilbert Associates. By advancing through other positions and firms and completing additional electronics training, Gerald became an electrical engineer in the field of automated control systems. In 1985, along with five other owners, Gerald founded Advanced Automation Associates in Exton. He was the principal software designer for automated control systems that were used by Fortune 500 companies. He retired in 1994.
For more than 60 years, Gerald was an avid model airplane enthusiast. He started to build model airplanes at a young age and by the 1940s was designing his own airplanes. Many of his designs were published in national model airplane magazines in the 1950s and 1960s. He was a frequent winner in the model airplane competitions that he attended throughout his flying career, the last 30 years of which he spent flying radio-controlled sailplanes. In 1981, he achieved the highest honor of Level V in the League of Silent Flight, the eighteenth person in the world to do so.
In addition to his wife, Gerald is survived by his children: JoAnn Keosaian, wife of David Keosaian of Ann Arbor, MI; Robert Zeigenfuse, husband of Banjira of Exton; Edward Zeigenfuse, husband of Judy of Mohnton; John Zeigenfuse of Reading, Barry Zeigenfuse, husband of Katie of Morgantown; Carol Asterino, wife of Joseph Asterino II of Reading; and David Zeigenfuse, husband of Jennifer of Reading. He was pre-deceased by his daughter, Betty Jane. Also surviving are his grandchildren: Holly Vernay; Justin Zeigenfuse; Tiffany Zeigenfuse; Jack Zeigenfuse; Lynn Hatton; Nina Eidam; Adam Sullivan; Christina Diehl; Joseph Asterino III; Stephen Zeigenfuse; Lily Zeigenfuse; Haley Zeigenfuse; and great-grandchildren: Garret and Griffin Vernay; Chase Zeigenfuse; Ariana Selas; Travis Kennedy; Courtney, Caleb, Colbee, and Caylee Hatton; Raelynn and Avery Eidam. Gerald is also survived by his sister, Mary Ann Weidner of Fleetwood.
Gerald will be remembered for his devotion to his wife and family, his intelligence, his dry sense of humor, and all of the things he taught his children.
Visitation will be held on Friday January 19, from 10:00am to 11:00am with services beginning at 11:00am in Lutz Funeral Home Inc. 2100 Perkiomen Ave. Mt. Penn. Interment is private. For online condolences please visit www.LutzFuneralHome.com