Joseph Mathew Tschirgi was born April 24, 1922 to Harold Magnus Tschirgi and Blossom Bissel Tschirgi in Independence, Iowa.
He served in the Army Air Corps as a weather officer from March 1943 to March 1946, and attended the Alabama Polytechnic Institute
and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he received his M.S. in Engineering in June 1950. On July 12, 1952, he married
Francis Elizabeth Platt. Upon graduation from Ann Arbor, he entered his career as an Aerodynamicist with McDonnell Douglas,
and by December 1962, was Chief Engineer in the Aerospace Systems Engineering Department, Missile & Space Systems Division
where he directed all engineering activities on such projects as the Thor, Delta, and Genie Systems Engineering. From the
late 1960s to early 1970s, he was Dept. Head, Director, and Program Manager for various projects focused on launch vehicle
engineering and specialized spacecraft for post Apollo missions. Mr. Tschirgi died on June 7, 2006 in Escondido, CA.