RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Richard J. Kroll, 78, who returned home to Richfield Springs after working on the Apollo 11 moon landing with Northrup Grumman, passed away Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in his home on Route 25.
Dick was born on May 7, 1940, on the family farm in Cullen, a son of the late Frank J. and Eleanor Janiec Kroll.
He was raised and educated in Richfield Springs, graduating from Richfield Springs High School with the Class of 1959. He attended Indiana Institute of Technology, obtaining a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He began his career working with the design of airplanes, most notably the F-15 fighter jet.
He then joined Northrup Grumman where he worked on the LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) Project that is associated with all Apollo mission lunar landings. The LEM transported the crew from lunar orbit to the moon and back to orbit, with the most notable mission being Apollo 11, where the U.S. achieved the first landing on the moon.
After starting his own family, Dick had a successful career working for the Central New York Psychiatric Center in Marcy as a secure hospital TA, from which he ultimately retired.
He was a member of Knights of Columbus Council No. 1508, Richfield Springs. Having a strong belief in God, he was a devout Catholic and an active member of the Church of St. Joseph the Worker in West Winfield.
He loved anything to do with aeronautics and in his spare time enjoyed building model airplanes and being a war history buff studying military battles and aircraft.
He was a devoted father to his children and surviving him are two sons, Eric J. Kroll, of Richfield Springs and Richard G. Kroll and his wife, Melonie, of Kirkville; two daughters, Diana F. Kroll, of Utica and Karen Gienau and her husband, Timothy, of Pawcatuck, Conn.; seven grandchildren; several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Caroline Sarafin, with whom he was very close.
Services for Mr. Kroll will take place this spring.
Funeral arrangements are with the J. Seaton McGrath Funeral Home, 40 West James St., Richfield Springs.
Expressions of sympathy may be made in his memory, with donations to St. Joseph the Worker Church of West Winfield or Richfield Springs.