Irving J. Wischmeyer was born July 29, 1921, in Rochester, N.Y. His early childhood interest in making model airplanes lead him in a personal quest of air and space beyond.
He received a degree in aircraft engineering from the Ryan School of Aeronautics and continued working there during World War II and shortly thereafter.
He returned to Rochester and married Alice Reber, with whom he had five children. They also had five grandchildren. Mr. Wischmeyer was co-owner of a family-owned precision sheet metal company and volunteered his time to many organizations. He was a member and held officer positions in the St. Helen's Men's Club, The Rochester Engineering Society, the Naval League of Rochester, Gates Lions Club, Buffalo Aero Club, the Society of Manufacturing Engineering and the Air Force Association.
Airplanes and space exploration were Mr. Wischmeyer's most noted hobby. He watched many air shows and was invited by NASA to participate in many of the space agency's functions. A special invitation enabled him to view a Russian space launch. Some of his later ventures were vacationing to remote areas of Central and South America as well as Iceland.
Mr. Wischmeyer often talked about the Celestis Service, and now space will be part of his last frontier.
It is appearances, characteristics and performance that make a man love an airplane, and they, told truly, are what put emotion into one. You love a lot of things if you live around them, but there isn't any woman and there isn't any horse, not any before nor any after, that is as lovely as a great airplane, and men who love them are faithful to them even though they leave them for others.
-- Ernest Hemingway
How many more years I shall be able to work on the problem I do not know; I hope, as long as I live. There can be no thought of finishing, for 'aiming at the stars' both literally and figuratively, is a problem to occupy generations, so that no matter how much progress one makes, there is always the thrill of just beginning.
-- Robert H. Goddard, in a 1932 letter to H. G. Wells