Engineer diligent in work, active in community
By Jerry Vondas
Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Fred Waibel's peers considered him to be a level-headed engineer, who never made a snap judgment.
During World War II, Mr. Waibel, an Army Air Corps pilot, flew visiting dignitaries and officials to important Defense meetings and vital war materiel to Defense plants throughout the United States, said his son, Rick Waibel of Mt. Arlington, N.J.
Fred E. Waibel of Wexford died on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, in Good Samaritan Hospice in Wexford. He was 88.
“Dad was also an engineer who throughout his numerous commitments would not approve any project if it had the slightest flaw, especially if it compromised the health or welfare of a community,” said his son.
Born and raised in Peoria, Ill., Mr. Waibel was the son of railroad conductor Frederick Waibel and his wife, Laura Waibel.
An Eagle Scout, he graduated from Woodruff High School in Peoria in 1942. Mr. Waibel joined the Army Air Corps, where he served stateside as a pilot/flight officer.
While stationed in the Syracuse, N.Y., area, he met Clara Daniszewski at a USO dance. They wed in 1944.
Upon his discharge in 1945, Mr. Waibel used the GI Bill to earn a degree in mechanical engineering from Bradley University in Peoria in 1949.
Four years later, the Waibels arrived in the Pittsburgh area, where Mr. Waibel worked for the Blaw-Knox Corp. He spent 56 years and the bulk of his career with the Dravo Corp., earning a patent for a nickel recovery system.
“My parents built a home in Wexford,” his son added. “Dad, in his position as a mechanical/chemical engineer, traveled extensively servicing chemical plants and refineries in Brazil, Canada, Italy and Venezuela.”
Waibel said his parents were active in the community.
“They attended square dances and attended St. Alexis Church. Dad was an active member of the Millvale Sportsmen's Club.”
In addition to his son, Frederick, Mr. Waibel is survived by his son, Dale A. Waibel of Tucson, Ariz.; a brother, Joseph Waibel of Peoria, Ill.; and one grandson, Andrew P. Waibel of Tucson.
Mr. Waibel was preceded in death by his wife, Clara, in 1995.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday in St. Alexis Church, 10090 Old Perry Highway, Wexford. Arrangements are being handled by George A. Thoma Funeral Home, Wexford.
Jerry Vondas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7823 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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