July 9, 1929 – June 5, 2022
Charles Franklin Fetterhoff Jr. passed away at the venerable age of 92 on June 5. He was the son of Charles Franklin Fetterhoff and Mary Katherine Daniel. He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Elizabeth Cappazola Fetterhoff (Betty).
Charles was deeply committed to his wife throughout her difficult health issues and they were inseparable until her death. He is survived by his two children, Brian Fetterhoff Sr. (wife Ana) and Karen Fetterhoff Thatcher (husband Archpriest David Thatcher). Charles was also survived by eight grandchildren: Brian’s four – Lyndsey, Brian Jr., David and Cynthia – as well as Karen’s four: David Jr., Charity, Gabriella and Joseph. He has three great grandchildren.
Charles grew up in Los Angeles, specifically the El Sereno area. He served in the Korean War as a staff sergeant, stationed in Hawaii and Japan. After that, he followed in the footsteps of his father and became a fireman. While serving the Los Angeles Fire Dept., his wife Betty encouraged him to use the GI bill and he ultimately graduated from LA City College. He eventually became an electronic technician, working for JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory).
He worked on many of JPL projects for NASA, including the Viking and Voyager projects. He most enjoyed the hands-on building of circuit boards and such for these spacecrafts. He in time transitioned to programing with Voyager, and moved to Florida with his family for six months in 1977 to work on that mission at Cape Canaveral. The highlight of his career was launching one of the two Voyager spacecrafts. He worked at the Command Center, punching in commands to program the Voyager craft. On launch day of one of the Voyagers, his supervisor asked if he would like to “press the button” at the count down. Always an unassuming man, David was deeply touched by this. He felt greatly honored to be part of NASA history and it is “the” family story that is most often repeated. We will greatly miss him.
Services were on Wednesday, June 22 at Glendale Funeral Home: the viewing at 10 a.m. followed by the funeral at 10:30 a.m. The burial was at 2:30 p.m. at Riverside National Cemetery.