- - On Friday, July 12, 2019, Fred E. Cordia, loving husband and father of two children, passed away at the age of 85.
Fred was born on May 28, 1934, on a farm in Richwoods, Missouri, to Fred and Blanche Cordia. Fred had a twin sister, Frieda, and two older siblings, Leo and Marjorie. In 1956, he received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and a commission as an officer in the U.S. Army. He would later go on to receive his M.S. degree from Florida Institute of Technology. After serving two years in the army working on the Nike Ajax antiaircraft missile system in Texas, Fred accepted a position as a Flight Test Engineer on the Atlas Intercontinental Ballistic Missile system at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, which started his forty-four-year career in the aerospace industry. After the Atlas program, Fred relocated to Florida, where he worked at Kennedy Space Center as a supervisor on the second-stage launch crew for the Apollo/Saturn V moon landing program. He was in the firing room for the Apollo 11 launch and got to meet President Nixon.
While working at Kennedy Space Center, he met Joann Shotton, and they were married on June 3, 1972. Their daughter, Caren, was born the following year. Their son, Jon, was born in California, where the family had relocated as, following the moon program, Fred began work on the Space Shuttle program - specifically on the cockpit displays and control design. He later worked on the International Space Station and the X-33 spaceplane. He always felt very fortunate and proud to have participated in such an exciting time in history.
Fred was a devoted and supportive father and always very involved in his children's lives - from coaching his son's little league teams to attending his daughter's dance recitals. He was always there to listen and offer good advice. Fred had a lifelong enthusiasm for cars and golf (he was very proud of his hole-in-one!), and he also enjoyed caring for his pets, watching the New England Patriots play and gardening. He had a large collection of baseball hats and always loved a good joke.
He is survived by his wife, Joann; his son, Jon; his daughter, Caren, her husband, Oliver, and their daughter, Lucy Jo; his sister Frieda; and his nephews and nieces, Karl, Richard, Chris, Suzanne and Steve.
A memorial service will be held on July 21, 2019, at Moorpark Country Club at 3:00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Ventura County Animal Services at www.vcas.us.
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