Stanley Kaufman, an engineer who conducted pioneering work in the fields of aerospace and fiber optic communications at the old Glenn L. Martin Co. and Bell Laboratories, died Jan. 2 of heart failure at Howard County General Hospital.

The Ellicott City resident was 91.


The son of Emanuel Kaufman, a liquor salesman, and Reba Kaufman, a homemaker, Stanley Kaufman was born in Baltimore and raised on Ingleside Avenue.

After graduating from Forest Park High School, he entered the Johns Hopkins University in 1941 and began his engineering studies. In 1943, he was drafted into the Army Air Corps and was sent to England, where he was responsible for loading weapons aboard bombers.

After being discharged with the rank of corporal, he returned to Hopkins on the GI Bill in 1946 and received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering two years later.

Mr. Kaufman began his career as a building inspector with the state of Maryland before taking a job designing bridges for Rensselaer P. Saxe, a Baltimore engineering firm.

He received a master's degree in engineering in 1957 from Johns Hopkins, then joined Aircraft Armaments as an aerospace engineer. In 1959, he went to work for Glenn L. Martin Co. in Middle River and worked on numerous projects, including the Titan II and Pershing missile programs and the Apollo lunar spacecraft program.

Family members said that in 1969, Mr. Kaufman went to work for Bellcom, a systems division established by NASA, and worked on the computer model design for the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle.

Mr. Kaufman joined Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, N.J., in 1972, and became an expert in fiber optics. After a year, he was assigned to Bell's Allentown, Pa., laboratory. There he invented a ringer for an optical telephone, and optical switches and transmitters for underwater communications.

He retired from Bell in 1995 and a few days later took a job with an Israeli dot.com startup.

"Most of what he did in his career, he just figured out. He worked in a sandbox — his own — and nobody told him what to do," said his daughter, Rabbi Jan Caryl Kaufman of New York, in her father's eulogy. "The less talking he had to do, the better."

He moved to Ellicott City in 2014 with his wife, the former Marilyn Deitrick Crossley, who was an official with the Allentown Housing Authority. The couple had married in 1985.

Services for Mr. Kaufman were held Jan. 3 at Sol Levinson & Bros. in Pikesville.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Kaufman is survived by two stepsons, Eric Crossley of Eldersburg and Kenneth K. Crossley Jr. of Salem, Ore.; a stepdaughter, Dr. Pamela Crossley of Norwich, Vt.; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Another stepson, Mark Crossley, died in 2013. A first marriage to Dr. Joyce Jacobson ended in divorce.

—Frederick N. Rasmussen