A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at St. Stanislaus Church in Stevens Point, with the Rev. Thomas Lindner officiating. A private burial will be in the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Custer.
Visitation will be at the church from 10 a.m. Saturday until the Mass.
A memorial gathering in Minneapolis, Minn., will be scheduled at a later time.
Memorials may be made to Arthur J. Pejsa Aerospace Scholarship Fund, UWSP, Stevens Point, WI 54481 or to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Condolences may be offered online at www.shudafuneral.com.
Mr. Pejsa was born March 23, 1923, in Custer, a son of the late Anton and Theodora (Bigus) Pejsa. He grew up in Custer and attended local schools, graduating from P.J. Jacobs High School in Stevens Point in 1940.
He started at UWSP, then known as Central State Teachers College, after high school, but his collegiate career was interrupted by war.
During World War II, he was a young B-29 Superfortress pilot and survived 30 combat missions over Japan, involving 400 combat flight hours. He won three Air Medals, a Presidential Citation and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
He received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and minors in physics and history from UWSP in 1947, graduating at the top of his class. He received a master’s degree in physics and mathematics from Marquette University.
Before his aerospace career, he was a professor of math and mechanics at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
For three decades he was a pioneer aerospace physicist. At the AC Electronics Division of General Motors, he headed the system design and analysis group for Thor and Titan II, the world’s first successful missile guidance systems.
At Honeywell Aerospace, he analyzed systems for Apollo moon missions and personally designed the difficult re-entry guidance system for the space shuttles. Later he headed design of a new inertial navigation system, used for decades on most of the world’s long-range aircraft.
In his later years, Pejsa wrote and published three books on small arms ballistics and a popular ballistics software package, becoming known as a guru in the realm of small arms precision ballistics.
He was a life master in contract bridge and wrote books on strong club standard bidding in contract bridge. He also wrote a biography, “Boy from Custer: The First Twenty-Five Years.”
As an alumnus of UWSP, he has established and endowed the Arthur J. Pejsa Aerospace Scholarship Fund in support of senior students on their way to becoming the next generation of aerospace scientists.
A year ago UWSP faculty, students and friends celebrated the naming of the Arthur J. Pejsa Observatory atop the Science Building.
He was married to Jeanne Hill. They were divorced in 1972.
He was married to Jane Hauser May 26, 1975.
Survivors include his wife, Jane; five children James (Janice) Pejsa, Anita Pejsa Johnston, Arthur Pejsa Jr., Ilse Gayl, and Franz (Conchita) Gayl; four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
He was also preceded in death by an infant brother, Leonard; four sisters, Lucy Pejsa, Eugenia Pejsa, Adeline Pejsa Brunner and Rita Pejsa Christ; and his former wife, Jeanne.