Joseph Edward Clevenger Jr.

Published 9:05 am Friday, May 12, 2023

Joseph Edward Clevenger Jr., 94 of Stephens City, entered into God’s kingdom on April 21. He was born May 30, 1928, to Rachel and Joseph Clevenger.

Ed, the most loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather is survived by his wife, Helen; son, Andrew (Charlotte); granddaughter, Corinne; grandson, Christopher; stepdaughter, Sissy Duckworth (Glenn); step-granddaughter, Isabella Duckworth and stepson, James Browning (Mike).

Born and raised in Stephens City, Ed graduated from Stephens City High School, named both captain of the football team and homecoming king. He joined the Air Force to serve his country, stationed in Japan, servicing avionics systems for DC 3s and other aircraft, experiences marking the genesis of his professional life in engineering.

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Ed attended the University of Virginia on the GI Bill, graduating with a degree in electrical engineering and remained a proud Wahoo throughout his life.

Ed married in Charlottesville, had two children, Jed and Andrew, was employed by Sperry Marine Systems, and went on to co-found Ridge Electronics Corporation, a marine radar manufacturing firm, as chief engineer.

Ed divorced and then met the love of his life, the woman who would stand by his side through thick and thin, Helen Cetti. “Oh dear God was I lucky and blessed to have met Helen”.

A massive fire destroyed Ridge Electronics and with limited employment options in Charlottesville Ed sought opportunities in northern Virginia, and without a scheduled interview tendered his resume to a secretary at E-Systems, now part of Raytheon. One glance at his resume and he was granted an impromptu interview and the rest was history.

Ed went on to become the senior project manager of a top-secret national security program involving electronic surveillance, ultimately deployed in the nose of the U2, integrating the fastest electronic communications scanning system in the world, feeding live data back to defense analysts.

Before passing Ed said his employment at E-Systems was the most challenging and rewarding endeavor of his life, a close second to his love for Helen and family. Never divulging details of the program, he only shared the critical importance of the project, convinced the deployment of the system helped keep America safe, driving him in the pursuit of excellence and execution.

Ed was truly a man’s man, charming and witty with a dry sense of humor that evoked depth and understanding, infectious to everyone around him.

No obituary can encapsulate all of who Ed Clevenger was. A truly great man whose impact will be forever felt by his family that loves him dearly. A selfless man whose passing leaves an unfillable void in the hearts of his loved ones. His ability to sacrifice, provide, support, forgive and love will be forever engrained in all he knew. Ed leaves a wonderful legacy and will never be forgotten.

A memorial service will take place 11 a.m. on June 3, at Green Hill Cemetery, Fairfax Street (West side of Main Street), Stephens City, VA 22655, with Rev. Janice Marie E. “JMe” Lowden officiating.

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