Saint Louis University

Paul Czysz, a Saint Louis University professor emeritus and alumnus who taught in the department of aerospace and mechanical engineering at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology for more than 10 years, died Aug. 18. He was 79.

Paul Czysz

A graduate of St. Louis University High School, Paul Czysz earned his undergraduate degree in aeronautical engineering from Parks College in 1955.

After graduation he joined the McDonnell Douglas Corporation. He left the company in 1956 to serve in the U.S. Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force Base until 1963 when he returned to St. Louis to join McDonnell Aircraft where he remained until his retirement in 1991. In 1986, Czysz was named a McDonnell Douglas Fellow for his work in hypersonic aircraft concepts.

Following his retirement from McDonnell Aircraft, he opened his own consulting business and in 1992 joined Parks College as the Oliver L. Parks Endowed Chair in Engineering until retiring as professor emeritus in 2002.

K. Ravindra, Ph.D., associate dean at Parks and a longtime colleague, lauded Czysz' many strengths and accomplishments.

"Paul was a very knowledgeable professor, not only in aerospace engineering but in many other fields," Ravindra said. "He was an authority on hypersonic propulsion. Local and national media alike sought his opinions and quoted him on aviation and space related events."

"We have lost a respected colleague and scholar, one of the standard bearers of aerospace engineering," added Parks Dean Theodosios Alexander, Sc.D.

Fellow Parks professor emeritus Marty Ferman, Ph.D., who began working with Czysz in 1958 and became a good friend, also had high praise for his colleague.

"He was an incredibly nice man who was an asset to our school and our profession," Ferman said.

In addition to his work at SLU, Czysz also enjoyed speaking to groups of elementary students about space technology and science.

Paul Czysz talking with area elementary students about space technology.

Czysz is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Catherine; daughter Donna Czysz McConnell; son Paul M. Czysz and two grandchildren.

Visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19, at Ortmann-Stipanovich Funeral Home, 12444 Olive Boulevard in Creve Coeur. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, at St. Louis Abbey (Saint Anselm Parish), 530 South Mason Road, followed by entombment at Bellerive Mausoleum.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Louis University High School, Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology at Saint Louis University or the charity of choice.