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John Schlichting

October 11, 1922 April 28, 2020
John Schlichting
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Obituary for John Schlichting

John Schlichting passed away peacefully at Cedarbrook Senior Living in Bloomfield Hills on April 28, 2020. His daughter, Nancy, was able to be with him during his final days. He was 97.

John was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, and graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1944. After college, he taught descriptive geometry and analytical drawing at Stevens to returning GIs from World War II. He met Elizabeth Cook on a blind date, which took place on his boat “Peggy Dash” while sailing on the Hudson River, and they were married in 1949. After the birth of his first two children, Carol and Nancy, he joined Babcock & Wilcox Co.(B&W) in New York City in 1955, and began his 37 year career as a nuclear engineer and inventor, with 8 patents, and was a member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honorary society. He was transferred to Akron, Ohio with B&W in 1957, and had two more children, John and Joan. He and his family were transferred to Lynchburg, Va. in 1972, returning to Akron five years later, where he lived for the next 27 years. John retired from B&W at the age of 70, and then spent three years caring for his wife, before she died in 1996. His retirement was filled with many trips to visit and travel with his children and grandchildren, who live in Michigan, Maryland, Georgia and Ohio, as well as special trips back to Stevens for his 60th and 70th college reunions. In 2004, John moved to Michigan and lived at Henry Ford Village in Dearborn for 13 years, before spending his final two years at Cedarbrook.

John was beloved by his family, friends, and caregivers for his positivity, good humor, intellectual curiosity, graciousness, and caring for others. He never thought there was a problem that couldn’t be solved, didn’t focus on his age (“it is only a number)”, and loved telling stories about his fascinating life. While his life wasn’t easy (he lost his father when he was 18, lost his only two siblings of different diseases within a 24 hour period in 1966, and his wife got sick very soon after he retired), he never dwelled on negative situations. Throughout his life, he loved playing pool, bowling and boating, and took up golf at age 76. He drove for over 70 years without a ticket or an accident. He loved Frank Sinatra, who also was from Hoboken, and actually thought he could sing like Frank! He will be missed by all who knew him, but they will be comforted by many wonderful memories.

John is survived by his daughters, Carol (John) Mallon, Nancy Schlichting (Pam Theisen), and Joan (Tim) Keifling, son, John (Eileen) Schlichting, grandchildren, Johnny Schlichting, Jamie Schlichting, Karla Keifling, Allie Theisen and Nick Theisen, and nephew John Campbell. He is predeceased by his parents, John and Margaret Schlichting, brother, Fred Schlichting, sister, Eleanor (Gus) Campbell, and wife, Elizabeth.

A private burial will take place at Chestnut Hill Memorial Park in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to Henry Ford Health System.

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