George Dosa

Eulogy for George Dosa written by his daughter, Marianne

A life that reads like a novel.

Dad’s parents were George Dosa and Margit Demeter, both from Hungary.

He grew up on Bridge Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. As he put it, “it was during the days of Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic.” Due to the Great Depression, the family headed south to Louisiana to strawberry fields and farming to survive. His days were filled with hunting, exploring and raiding old riverboats for money. Until high school, he attended a different school each year, but found some solace in books.

Back in Ohio, he went to his first movie in 1932, with cousin Jonnie and his one-armed Uncle Louie — who was quite fond of him because dad would roll his cigarettes on a rolling machine.

In 1937, the family packed up and moved to Los Angeles. In Iowa, their heavily loaded car ended up in a ditch, and his mother in the hospital. Dad continued to L.A., where his sister Margaret had a place for the family to stay. His uncle Paul gave him an old but serviceable bicycle, so he explored his new environs from Santa Monica to Long Beach – now that’s free-range living!

He attended Berendo Middle School and wrote his first and only poem — about, of all things, China — a hint of things to come. Then, attended Polytechnic High School. Joined the Boy Scouts, which was a very important part of his young life – for the very first time he had a group of friends his age and found companionship. He rose through the ranks to “Life Scout”, before WWII changed everything.

George Dosa serving in the U.S. Navy in World War 2

Joined the Navy in 1942. Learned Semaphore, and trained his class. Went to Jacksonville, Florida and graduated as Aviation Metalsmith, 3rd Class. Worked as an engineering designer, a surveyor, took water depth measurements of the San Francisco Bay, wind tunnel construction with NACA (now known as NASA), a motion picture projectionist, and editor and correspondent of the Moffett news. Phew!

Shipped out to Guam, then sent to Shanghai at Kiangwan Air Base, where he had his own metal shop. Wonderful memories for dad – he explored this fascinating city, and everywhere from Tsingtao to Hong Kong. Met the love of his life, Annie Tsu, thanks to his good friends, Blackie and Nina. In spite of many obstacles, the two married in 1948 — without the okay from the Navy, and with his enlistment running out! With the communists moving in, the US Navy left China, and dad had to leave our mother behind.

Finally, in 1950, his lovely bride arrived in Los Angeles. He enrolled in Northrop Aero Nautical Institute. From there, he worked for Aerojet, Gilfillan, Harvey Aluminum, then NCR, where he worked for 16 years. In the meantime, three children arrive – Marianne, Mark then Susan. He took night courses in engineering at USC, often mistaken as a professor, which he took advantage of to get good parking…

George Dosa makes a presentation on rocketry at TRW in the 1960’s

Of course, his favorite hobby was amateur rocketry. He built, fired and tried to do flight analysis with an 8mm movie camera. He spent many an evening with his friends of the Reaction Research Society, and many a weekend at the Mojave Test Area firing rockets into the blue desert sky. He recruited his son-in-law, Frank, who has been a ‘rocketeer’ ever since.

Farewell to our friend, George Dosa, 1922-2019

Marianne arranged an interview with TRW, where he worked until his retirement in 1987. RV’d throughout the U.S. Southwest, and once into Canada. Grandchildren Jayci, husband Mark Grisafe, Josh, and Nick were a blessing, as were his three great-grandchildren, Luke, Luci and Liam. He played a mean hand of Canasta, but was routinely beaten by our card-shark mother. They celebrated almost 66 years of marriage when his beloved Annie left his side in 2014. His only son, Mark, passed away in 2017.

Dad soldiered on, finding some joy in simple pleasures — his little Tweety-bird, scrambled eggs, good coffee and bacon, and cooking shows. His caregivers helped immensely, especially Maricris and Joycelyn. He departed this life peacefully on August 25, 2019, on a sunny Sunday morning. We shall miss him, but are left with wonderful memories and his rick and varied legacy.

George Dosa in a recent undated photo.