William Norman Ember was the last child born to a family of 15 on January 11, 1930. After almost 90 years of life, he passed away on Christmas evening, December 25, 2019.
Although William's parents could not afford college, they made sure that William could pursue a higher education with his older brothers' assistance. William attended Purdue University, then joined the Army, where he learned to be bold—bold enough to marry the mother of all his children, Loretta Sabbagh. After the birth of their first child, Sophia, William returned to school to earn an engineering degree. He was employed at Westinghouse in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when his second daughter, Loretta Jr., was born. Then, William entered the nuclear field in its infancy, working at JPL in Sacramento, where his third daughter, Georgette, was born. Soon after, he and his family returned east, where William helped launch the Apollo program at NASA and where his last daughter, Mary-Jo, was born. William continued his nuclear career with the Atomic Energy Commission and Department of Energy until he retired in 1984.
William is survived by his daughters Sophia (Edward) Ember, Loretta (Frank) Shultz, Georgette (Robert) Hauck, and Mary-Jo Ember; grandchildren Frank Jr., Michael, Rebecca, Nicholas, Samantha, Alexander, Courtney, and Dominique; as well as great-grandchildren Sophia and Eleanor.
William's funeral will be held at Gate of Heaven Cemetery on Friday, February 21, 2020 at 10:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Red Cross (details below).
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American Red Cross
P.O. Box 4002018, Des Moines IA 50340