Jay L. Jaspan, purchasing official at GE

Jay L. Jaspan
Jay L. Jaspan
Posted: September 06, 2013

Jay L. Jaspan, 89, who retired in 1989 as a purchasing administrator for the South Jersey office of General Electric Co., died of complications from bone cancer Sunday, Sept. 1, at Brendenwood, an assisted living community in Voorhees. He had resided in Haddon Township.

Mr. Jaspan began his working days as a record finisher for the phonograph-record department of Radio Corp. of America in Camden in 1942 and ended his career with GE, son Ira said. GE took over RCA in 1985.

Born in Camden, Mr. Jaspan was a 1942 graduate of Camden High School and served as a machinist's mate on a World War I destroyer during World War II, which escorted oil tankers, hospital ships, and other vessels in the North Atlantic.

A later assignment placed him on a ship that carried soldiers returning from France.

Mr. Jaspan's RCA career was interrupted by his 1943-46 Navy service, but he returned as an RCA wireman while earning a bachelor's degree in accounting at Temple University in 1952, his son said.

His most significant work for RCA was with the Apollo program, which ran from 1963 to 1972, sending manned and unmanned flights around the Earth and to the moon.

"He had a top-secret security clearance, which permitted him to work on classified programs at RCA" involving Apollo communications systems, his son said.

But when his wife, Shirley, went off to college to earn her bachelor's and master's degrees in the late 1950s and early 1960s, his son said, Mr. Jaspan became "the original Mr. Mom," cooking meals and doing housework.

"He was a regular Joe who made everyone feel special," his son said.

Mr. Jaspan had been chaplain for Jewish War Veterans Post 126 in Cherry Hill since 1995, and cochaired its annual Veterans Day service at Temple Beth Sholom in Cherry Hill, where he helped maintain equipment such as sound systems.

He assisted with the annual placement of flags at grave sites of Jewish veterans at Crescent, Locustwood, and Beverly National cemeteries.

He helped with bingo parties sponsored by Post 126 at the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home in Vineland, and assisted with the annual USO gala dinner dance sponsored by the post and with its poppy sales to support its charities.

Besides his son, Mr. Jaspan is survived by sons David and Michael, eight grandchildren, and a great-grandson. His wife died in 1991.

A visitation was set from 9 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, at Platt Memorial Chapels, 2001 Berlin Rd., Cherry Hill, with Masonic services there at 9:30 a.m., Jewish War Veterans services at 9:50 a.m., and funeral services at 10 a.m. Interment with military honors is to follow at Crescent Memorial Park, Pennsauken.

Donations may be made to the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey at www.jewishsouthjersey.org

Condolences may be offered to the family at www.plattmemorial.com.

Contact Walter F. Naedele at 610-313-8134, wnaedele@phillynews.com or follow on Twitter @WNaedele.

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