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Alexander B."Chip" Komoroske

Alexander B. "Chip" Komoroske, 92, died March 11, 2005 at the Goodwin House in Alexandria of congestive heart failure. He was the father of John Komoroske, vice chairman of the Alexandria Planning Commission.

A veteran of two wars, he served as a communications engineer for the U.S. Government for nearly six decades before retiring in 1990. His career began in 1932 when he entered the U.S. Army Signal Corps and was instrumental in establishing the Defense Communications Agency, later renamed the Defense Information Systems Agency. He served that agency until his retirement at age 78.

His military career, which spanned 30 years, began when, at the height of the Great Depression, he refused his father's offer to mortgage the family farm so he could attend college. While in the U.S. Army, he specialized in telegraphy and telephony, and rose in rank from private to lieutenant colonel, until his retirement in 1962, following a heart attack at age 49.

During World War II he served in the Pacific Theater and participated in the early occupation of Japan after the war. His service in the Korean Conflict earned him a Bronze Star. After the Korean armistice, Komoroske served as a part of the Rusk Commission which planned the Republic of South Korea's communications system.

Following his military career, he joined the Defense Communications Agency as a communications engineer. Among his accomplishments he established the operating procedures for the Washington-Moscow Hot Line, which allowed the leaders of the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. to communicate directly in times of crisis to avoid triggering a nuclear holocaust.

Komoroske also managed a worldwide telecommunications system for classified information of high-level intelligence organizations. He played a key role in planning and building the Defense Communications Agency's Operations Center, negotiated long range plans for the National Communications System to support the White House, and was a planner for the Automatic Voice Network.

Born in Valley Stream, N.Y., he earned his B.S. in Military Science from the University of Maryland. A resident of Alexandria since 1955, Komoroske was a 30-year member of the North Ridge Citizens Association and served as its treasurer.

Komoroske is survived by his beloved wife Mary of 66 years; their son Alex, a venture capitalist in Menlo Park, Calif.; their daughters Mary Joscelyn, a technical writer in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Frances, a retired lawyer who resides on her sheep ranch in Auckland, New Zealand; John, a securities lawyer in Washington, D.C.; seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

Family and friends will gather at Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home, 1500 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria, on Thursday, March 17 from 7 to 9 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Community, 1427 W. Braddock Road, on Friday, March 18 at 10 a.m.

Interment will take place April 27 at 9 a.m. at Arlington National Cemetery. Those attending are asked to gather at the cemetery's main gate at that time. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made in his name to the American Heart Association, PO Box 5216, Glen Allen, VA, 23058-5217.