William Bruce Schneck, former manager of space shuttle Columbia's communications network, died June 17 of a massive heart attack at Chester River Hospital Center in Chestertown.

The Shady Side resident was 59.


The son of a Glenn L. Martin Co. quality control engineer and a Baltimore public school cafeteria manager, Mr. Schneck was born in Baltimore and raised in Dundalk.

He was a 1970 graduate of Patapsco High School, and after attending a Baltimore technical school for a year, went to work in 1972 for Honeywell Technology Solutions Inc.

Mr. Schneck, a contract employee who worked at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt for more than 35 years, retired in 2005.

"He managed space shuttle Columbia's communications network, and had more than 600 people on his team," said his son, Scott A. Schneck of Riva.

The Columbia later exploded in 2003.

Mr. Schneck, who formerly had lived in Riva, moved to Shady Side three years ago. He enjoyed golfing, skiing and riding his Harley, family members said.

He also was an avid Chesapeake Bay boater and enjoyed being aboard his 28-foot Sea Ray powerboat.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

In addition to his son, Mr. Schneck is survived by his parents, Anthony T. and Ruth R. Schneck of Dundalk; and three brothers, Wayne Schneck of Pasadena, Brian Schneck of Berlin and Randy Schneck of Reisterstown. His marriage to the former Joanne Aisquith ended in divorce.