By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun
3:49 PM EDT, August 7, 2013
Ron A. Szymanski, who was chief software architect at Aberdeen Proving Ground, died July 26 of stomach cancer at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. He was 34.
Born and raised in Middlesex, N.J., Mr. Szymanski was a 1996 graduate of Middlesex High School. In 2000, he earned a bachelor's degree in math education from The College of New Jersey in Ewing.
In 2004, he earned a master's degree in computer science from Monmouth University in West Long Branch, N.J.
"Ron always had a gift for computers, so that led him to accept an opportunity at Fort Monmouth rather than going into teaching," said his wife of nine years, the former Amy Erica Speiser.
Mr. Szymanski transferred to Aberdeen Proving Ground in 2008 and at his death was chief software architect. He continued working on occasion at Fort Monmouth as well.
He was the recipient in 2009 of the Arthur S. Flemming Award for distinguished performance in the role of technical leader as the lead computer scientist at Fort Monmouth.
Mr. Szymanski and his wife moved to Havre de Grace in 2008, and he was diagnosed with the stomach cancer that ended his life in 2009.
"He continued working from home or he'd go in on non-chemotherapy days," said his wife.
Growing up, he collected comic books, and as an adult, he enjoyed reading, video and board games. He and his wife also looked forward to their annual trip to Las Vegas.
Mr. Szymanski was a New York Giants and New York Mets fan.
"He also treasured being able to coach his son's Little League team for three years, even this past spring when he was undergoing chemotherapy," said Mrs. Szymanski.
"Ron dealt with his cancer journey with such dignity. He never complained or said, 'Why me?' Instead, he said, 'Why not me?' " she said.
He attended the Harford Jewish Center.
Services are private.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Szymanski is survived by his twin 6-year-old sons, Parker and Adam Szymanski; his parents, Alan and Marilyn Szymanski of Jackson, N.J.; and two sisters, Dana Zissman of Montgomery, N.J., and Traci Gruning of Bridgewater, N.J.
An earlier version misstated his age and year of transfer to Aberdeen. The Sun regrets the errors.
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