Harold Straut, Jr.

Obituary of Harold J. Straut, Jr.

Harold “Hal” James Straut Jr., 91, of Bluffton, SC. passed away on January 26, 2024. Harold was born and raised in New Jersey. He graduated from Clifton High School where he lettered in basketball and was the Salutatorian for the Class of ‘49. He graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology with honors in 1953, while earning varsity letters in basketball and soccer. He served as President of the Student Council and was a member of Tau Beta Pi and Theta Xi fraternities.

In 1954, Hal married his high school sweetheart Peggy Birish. They were married for 63 years and lived in Texas, Washington, California, New Jersey and Florida, before moving to Bluffton, South Carolina.

A Korean War veteran, Hal served as a Lieutenant in the Coast Guard, where he was chief of the LORAN station in Batan, Philippines. Upon his return from active duty, Hal continued his education and earned a Masters of Science from Stevens in 1958. He was influential in the engineering and design of inertial guidance systems and was awarded a number of U.S. patents. Hal spent the majority of his career with Martin Marietta now known as Lockheed Martin. Driven by an unmatched work ethic combined with his unwillingness to accept anything less than precise perfection, Hal advanced to the position of Senior Vice President & Chief Scientist of Technical Operations for the Electronics, Information & Missiles Group in Orlando, FL. After 27 years with Lockheed Martin, he retired at age 62 in 1994.

Hal enjoyed bowling, golf, duplicate bridge and traveling with Peggy. He was proud to have visited all 50 states plus 42 foreign countries and especially enjoyed cruising to Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, the Baltic, the Mediterranean and South America. Hal’s interests also included genealogy, history and Jeopardy! Known for his phenomenal memory of facts, figures and dates, he was a genuine “rocket scientist” and the most humble genius you could ever meet.

A devoted son, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Harold is survived by his three children: Susan (John) Kimball, Harry (Cindy) Straut and Patti (David) Maurer; five grandchildren: Ryan Straut, Ashley (Jacob) Noorbergen, David Maurer, Katie Maurer and Cassie Maurer; three step-grandchildren: Brittany Kimball, Andy Kimball and David Kimball; and he recently welcomed the arrival of his only great-grandchild, Isaac Noorbergen. He is reunited in heaven with his beloved wife Peggy; brother Andrew; and parents Harold Sr. and Florence.

He was greatly loved and will be deeply missed by his family and those whose lives he touched.

A private Celebration of Life will be scheduled in April at Belfair. In lieu of flowers, please consider a charitable donation to the National Hospice Foundation.


A Memorial Tree was planted for Harold
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at The Island Funeral Home & Crematory
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