Obituary: Stephen Zalman Gunter

Grandfather, aerospace engineer, U.S. Army veteran

Stephen Zalman Gunter was born November 9, 1935, in Brooklyn, New York. The family soon moved to Middletown, Connecticut, where he grew up. He died April 15 in Claremont, at the age of 87.

Steve earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Worcester, Massachusetts. He served in the U.S. Army, and then moved to California. He was employed at Cal Tech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for 51 years, working on various aerospace projects, notably the Surveyor Moon projects and Mars Mariner projects, retiring in 2012.

During those years, he made dozens of trips to Japan while working on a joint U.S.-Japan project. He also earned two additional master’s degrees, from Claremont Graduate University (economics) and West Coast University (management science).

He and Linda, his wife of 56 years, spent a year in Taiwan early in their marriage, and returned to Claremont where they raised their two daughters. When their children were involved in competitive swimming, he wrote a computer program that was used extensively throughout the region for seeding swimmers in their heats and races.

He is survived by his wife Linda; daughters Peggy Harvey (Dan) and Deborah Lotz (Tom); grandchildren Nick, Christopher, Rebecca and Jack; a brother, Bert, and a sister, Barbara.


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