Abraham H. Siemens
Rear Adm. Abraham Harold Siemens, U.S. Coast Guard (ret.), 86, of Whispering Pines, died Tuesday, March 30, 2010, in Elizabeth City.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 6, at The Village Chapel in Pinehurst. Burial with military honors will be held in Arlington Cemetery at a later date.
Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, April 5, at Powell Funeral Home, Southern Pines.
Born March 9, 1924, in Chicago, Ill., Abe was the son of Abraham K. Siemens and Agatha Loewen Siemens. He attended St. John’s Lutheran School, where he memorized all his Bible verses, and graduated from Proviso High School, Maywood, Ill., in 1942.
He graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn., with the class of 1946 in June 1945, with a commission of ensign and received a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Because of World War II, he completed the four-year curriculum in three years.
The war came to an end as he headed across the Pacific, but he spent several great years on board ship as his Coast Guard assignments took him to Korea, Shanghai, China, Japan, Hawaii and other exotic places.
From July 1946 to October 1947, he was assigned engineering duties on board the Coast Guard icebreaker Northwind, during which time that vessel participated in Operation Highjump, U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Richard Byrd’s expedition to Antarctica.
After undergoing flight training from December 1949 to January 1951, at the Naval Air Stations at Pensacola, Fla., and Corpus Christi, Texas, Abe was designated Coast Guard Aviator No. 548. He flew search and rescue missions out of Coast Guard air stations around the country, including Kodiak, Alaska, and Hawaii.
While stationed at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., Abe served as chief of several divisions in the Office of Research and Development.
He commanded Coast Guard Air Station, San Diego, Calif., with additional duties of group commander and captain of the port of San Diego. He was also the commanding officer of Coast Guard Base Governor’s Island in New York.
Abe was appointed to the rank of rear admiral on July 1, 1973. At that time, he assumed the flag ranking post of chief of the Office of Research and Development at headquarters. On June 30, 1977, Abe retired from the U.S. Coast Guard after 36 years on active duty.
During his service, Abe received numerous awards, including the Coast Guard Commendation Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. He also earned a master’s degree from Purdue University.
Among his achievements, Abe is credited with the following developments in aviation: Helicopter In-Flight Refueling (HIFR) for the HH-3F helicopter; the HH-3F and HC-130-B in-flight drafting technique; Shipboard Helicopter Arresting Gear (SHAG) research and development proposal; HH-3F technique for launch and receiving of the Zodiac powered raft; initiated HH-3F shipboard qualifications for San Diego pilots.
After his retirement, Abe worked for IBM for 10 years, serving as project manager on the U.S. Navy’s LAMPS MK3.
While on leave in 1945, Abe met Louise Meta Feldmann at a New Year’s Eve service at Madison Street Bible Church in Oak Park, Ill. They were married on Nov. 19, 1949. During his career, Abe and Louise moved 28 times.
The couple raised three children, Carol, John and Susan. Louise died October 30, 1985.
In 1995, Abe met OvaJean Henderson in Vienna, Va. The couple were married August 13, 1995. They lived in Virginia and Oklahoma before moving to Whispering Pines in 2004.
Abe was a member of The Village Chapel, the Sandhills Rotary Club, the Coast Guard pilots’ organization Pterodactyls and AOPA.
Throughout his life, Abe enjoyed playing the piano and the harmonica, which he had taught himself to play during the long hours on board ship.
An avid pilot, Abe flew his single-engine Mooney solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1990. On his 86th birthday, he flew over Moore County with his son, John, taking the controls during the flight.
In addition to entertaining and flying, Abe loved children, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was well known for his positive attitude and generous spirit.
“Abe was a man who cherished his relationship with God, loved his family without measure, delighted in children, lived a full life and laughed often,” said a family spokesperson.
Abe was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Louise.
He is survived by his wife of 14 years, OvaJean, of the home; children, Carol S. King and husband, Bo, of Lincolnton, Capt. John H. Siemens, U.S. Coast Guard (ret.), and wife, Elaine, of Elizabeth City, and Susan S. Sharber and husband, Richard, of Oakland, N.J.; stepdaughters, Martha J. Henderson and Julia S. Henderson, both of Southern Pines; grandchildren, Charles C. King and wife, Whitney, of Lincolnton, Sarah S. Paone and husband, Sean, of Charlotte, Shannon L. Siemens, of Fairfax, Va., John Michael Siemens, of Elizabeth City, Justin A. Sharber, of New Brunswick, N.J., Elisabeth L. Sharber and Seth Sharber, both of Oakland, N.J.; great-grandchildren, Reed and Lander King, of Lincolnton, and Leighton Paone, of Charlotte.
Abe also is survived by his brother, Peter Siemens and wife, Esther, of Raytown, Mo.; and numerous cousins, nephews, nieces and friends.
Powell Funeral Home, Southern Pines, is assisting the family.