Marvin Roger Eshelman
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                                          Marvin Roger Eshelman
 
Marvin Roger Eshelman - In 1961, a young engineer named Roger Eshelman
arrived in Newport News to begin his career at the Shipyard. That same year
USS Enterprise, the first nuclear powered vessel in the fleet, was
commissioned. Enterprise served for 51 years under ten presidents, was
home to more than 100,000 sailors and Marines, and traveled more than one
million nautical miles-enough to circle the earth 40 times. During all of those
years, the young engineer remained at the Shipyard and became instrumental
in the development and maintenance of our modern fleet. On Feb 3, 2017,
Master Shipbuilder Roger Eshelman sat with other honored guests and old
friends in the hangar bay of Enterprise, as she was decommissioned. At the
end of a wonderful day, Roger fell ill. He passed away the following day in the
company of his wife and children. He was preceded in death by his beloved
first wife, Margaret Louise Miller Eshelman, his parents Carolyn Dick & Marvin
Luther Eshelman, his brothers-in-law Bill & Fain Miller and his brother Byron
Eshelman. He is survived by his loving wife Carolyn; his children and their
spouses Matt & Tammy Eshelman, Betsy & Brian Riopelle, Andy & Michelle
Eshelman, Kimberly & Charlie Humphries and Sherri Strickland; grandchildren
Fain, Kyle & Kate Riopelle; Wesley & Walker Eshelman; Alex & Lauren Martin;
mother-in-law Delois Berry; sister-in-law Betsy Miller; niece Jessica Miller
Childress and nephew Will Miller. Roger met his first wife Lou in the 8th grade
and defined true love as driving to visit her at WVU on the weekend when the
Pitt-WVU game was at Pitt. He bumped into Dick Forbes on the sidewalk of
32nd Street and began his long tenure at First Presbyterian: he taught Sunday
School, served as Clerk of the Session, operator of the spotlight for the
Christmas Pageant, and of course, sang in the choir-loudly. He cultivated his
impressive tenor voice from a young age under the guidance of his choral
director father. His strong faith sustained him when Lou was taken from our
family at an early age. Church organist Dave Babcock introduced Roger to his
second wife Carolyn, an accomplished soprano. Roger and Carolyn
proceeded to make beautiful music together. A native of Johnstown, PA,
Roger earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of
Pittsburgh and a M.S. in thermal engineering from Old Dominion University.
He was a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloane
School Executive Management Program. His professional accomplishments
and honors are many: as the first power plant systems engineer at NNS, he
led the development of the nuclear propulsion plant for the High Speed
Nuclear Attack 688 Los Angeles Class Submarine; as Director of Engineering
at NNI, he pioneered ground-breaking work in the commercial nuclear power
industry, including the first in-place weld repair of a reactor vessel; as Director
for Naval Engineering at NNS, he led the development of a revolutionary
magnet-based system for propulsion of submarines and surface ships; he
supervised the overhaul and servicing of the 688 and Sea Wolf Class
submarines and the Nimitz, Eisenhower and Enterprise carriers. He retired
from the Yard in 2002 as Senior Vice President for Nuclear Services and
Aircraft Carrier Overhaul. During retirement he worked on the development of
a nuclear engine for NASA's Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter, the management of the
Savannah River Nuclear site, and the overhaul of safety practices at Northrop
Grumman Ship System Sector facilities at Ingalls and Avondale. He was
named Peninsula Engineer of the Year for 1994 and received the
Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Pittsburg in 2005. He gave
directions by the points of the compass. He was not a fair-weather fan having
sat through countless seasons of William & Mary basketball with George
Heflin. He could fix anything. He found joy in watching his sons play baseball
and watching his grandchildren do anything. He made hamburgers for his
children five nights a week for three years while his wife went to law school.
He was ejected from a youth basketball game when he wordlessly removed
his glasses and handed them to the passing referee. When his daughter
brought her future husband home for the first time, he pulled a dead hawk out
of a cooler and passed it around the dining room table while lecturing on how
a raptor's claws worked. He was loved by both of his mother-in laws. He was
the ringmaster of After-Christmas Christmas ("You must be present to win.")a
role inherited from his father-in-law, Bill Miller. He believed in the words on the
Shipyard Rock: WE WILL BUILD GOOD SHIPS HERE - AT A PROFIT IF WE
CAN - AT A LOSS IF WE MUST - BUT ALWAYS GOOD SHIPS. Roger
Eshelman was the best of fathers and husbands and we loved him. The family
will receive visitors at 1:00 PM on Sunday, February 12, 2017 at the White
Funeral Home at Summersville with travel at 1:45 PM to the Walker Memorial
Park for graveside services starting at 2:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family
suggests a donation to Massanetta Springs, 712 Massametta Springs Rd.,
Harrisonburg, VA 22835.