WATERBURY — Rudolph James Francel, 97, peacefully entered into eternal rest on Sept. 13, 2016, surrounded by the love of his family. He was predeceased in 2001 by his wife of more than 51 years, Mary (Redmond) Francel. Together they lived, worked, and raised their family in Stamford. For the past 17 years, Rudy lived at The Village at East Farms in Waterbury.
Born in Gilbert, Minn. on Oct. 14, 1918, Rudy was the youngest of seven children of John and Frances (Peryon) Francel. After he graduated from Gilbert High School, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in chemistry from the University of Minnesota, where he was president of The Student
Chemical Society and was inducted into the honorary chemical fraternity, Phi Lambda Upsilon. He received a Master’s Degree in chemistry from the University of Missouri, where he was a graduate teaching assistant. He worked for two years in the research laboratory of the Monsanto Chemical Company in St. Louis, Mo., leaving to accept a commission as an ensign in the U.S. Navy during World War II. While serving on the USS Minivet in 1945, he survived an explosion in the Sea of Japan that sunk the ship and claimed many lives of crew members.
After his discharge as a lieutenant (j.g.), Rudy enjoyed his career as a chemist in the American Cyanamid Company’s Stamford Research Laboratories, where he was the group leader of spectroscopy. He also did research for Cyanamid in atomic energy at the Oak Ridge Tennessee
National Laboratory and was the Chemical Director of the Cyanamid Atomic Energy Division in Idaho. He authored and co-authored numerous articles in scientific journals and is an emeritus member of the American Chemical Society.
Rudy and his wife Mary traveled extensively, visiting over 65 countries on six continents. He had a lifelong love of learning, a passion for music, and a profound devotion to his family. He will be dearly missed by many.
Rudy is survived by one son and two daughters, Richard Francel and his wife, Linda, of Bonita Springs, Fla.; Marlene Taranto and her husband, Ray, of Framingham, Mass.; and Patricia Kunces and her husband, David, of Naugatuck. Also surviving are six grandchildren, Reid Francel, Scott Francel, Anthony Taranto, his wife, Amber Gomez, Daniel Taranto, Jonathan Kunces, Laura Kunces, her husband, Ernesto Suarez, and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral Mass and private burial with military honors took place in Saint James Cemetery, Naugatuck. The Naugatuck Valley Memorial Fitzgerald Zembruski Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.
Donations in Rudy’s honor may be made to the charity of your choice.
Visit www.naugatuckvalleymemorial.com to leave an online condolence.