Dennis Earl Condon

Dec. 9, 2013

Dennis Earl Condon (BS Mech Egr ’53) of Okemos, Mich., whose family embraced the traditions of being Irish and becoming professional engineers, died Dec. 4, 2013, after a 30-year struggle with heart disease. He was 82. Condon followed his father, uncles and a brother into engineering, which had always been a family calling.

He was born in Muncie, Ind., on Oct. 11, 1931, to the late Francis Condon and Helen (Coon) Condon. He attended Cass Technical High School in Detroit and entered Michigan State College to study engineering. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi and Tau Beta Pi, an engineering honorary. He graduated from Michigan State in 1953 with a degree in mechanical engineering and began a 34-year career as an automotive engineer with Oldsmobile Division of General Motors.

He was granted a two-year leave from Oldsmobile in 1954 to serve in the U.S. Air Force at Wright Patterson in Dayton, Ohio. While there, he acted as the commanding officer in the development of the Gatling gun, later used by the U.S. military.

Condon met Georgia (Ziehm) his wife of 59 years at Michigan State. She survives him along with their two daughters, Kelley of Fairfax, Calif., and Tracy (Michael) of Santa Monica. He is also survived by one brother, Frank Condon (Ann) of Hillsdale and sisters Joanne White of Utica, and Caroline (James) Scharphorn of Grand Island, Neb., and nieces and nephews who thought of him as "Uncle Denny who could do anything."

Although his technical training gave him an analytical mind, he also loved opera and drama, as well as MSU sports. He cherished the many hours he spent cruising the Great Lakes with family and friends on his boat, the Angia.

After his retirement, he spent winters in Florida, trading the snow in Michigan for the sun in Sarasota. His heart, however, belonged to Michigan.

A memorial service is planned for spring 2014. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, Memorials and Tributes, 3816 Paysphere Circle, Chicago, Ill., 60674.

Arrangements were made by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Lansing Chapel. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at and more information at