Obituary for Howard Gammon
Howard McKee Gammon was born in Los Angeles in 1922 to James Mathias Gammon and Carrie Bernice McKee. He worked hard all his life, starting with paper routes in the Hollywood hills when he was a boy. He got his first job, initially unpaid, in a machine shop and worked on cars for spending money while still in high school. He went on to work on the Douglas DC3 at Douglas Aircraft.
He was attending community college when WWII began and he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, later to become to US Air Force. He trained as a navigator and was made an instructor. He met and married Claudia Overington Newman of Philadelphia during his time in the Air Corps. He requested combat roles and was eventually assigned to the 319th Bomber Group in Okinawa where he flew six combat missions in a Douglas A-26 as a navigator bombadier.
After the war, he returned to his studies and earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Iowa. He took a job as Westinghouse, to supervise installation of the first nuclear reactors into submarines. He designed and ran the world's first nuclear decontamination of equipment removed from the prototype reactor in Idaho Falls. Later he worked at Thompson Products (now TRW) and Purolator Filters, then became a manufacturer's representative, selling engineered products to NASA in the early years of the space program.
In 1960, he founded Gammon Technical Products, a manufacturer of jet fuel quality control equipment - and he never retired. Howard's contributions to aviation fuel quality control world-wide are impossible to quantify. His designs are used in virtually every airport in the world, large and small - as well fuel terminals and refineries serving airports. The company remains a family business, run the last 15 years by his son.
Howard passed away peacefully in his sleep on January 6, at home in his own bed at the age of 95 years and 10 days. He accomplished his life's goal, to make a difference in the world - as the father of aviation fuel quality control.
Howard was predeceased by his wife, Claudia, in 2014. He is survived by daughters Mary and Jeanne Gammon of Spring Lake; son and daughter-in-law Jim and Wanda Gammon and their son Jimmy, of Wall; granddaughter Sandi Gammon and her husband Tim Sigler, of Wall; as well as Lovianna Fields and Kamila Davenport, of Chicago, IL.
Visitation at O'Brien Funeral Home in Wall on Jan. 12 from 2-4pm and 7-9pm. Services at St. Mary's by the Sea Episcopal Church in Pt. Pleasant, Jan. 13 at 11am. Burial to follow at Atlantic View Cemetery.