In Memory of




Obituary for Rene J. Tritschler

Rene J. Tritschler, Jr. 96, a resident of the Town of Poughkeepsie since 1950, died peacefully on March 23, 2021 at Vassar Brothers Medical Center, with his beloved family by his side.
Rene was born June 5, 1924 in Philadelphia PA. He was the son of Rene J. Sr. and Margaret (Rauback) Tritschler.
Rene received his early education at St. Thomas Aquinas Grammar School, in Croydon, PA, and St. Joseph’s Preparatory High School in Philadelphia. He entered the mechanical engineering program at Drexel University in September 1941, three months before Pearl Harbor.
With WWII going on, Rene’s work/study program assignment was in the Drafting department at Fleetwings Incorporated in Bristol PA, where they were building a Basic Trainer (BT-12). Because of his work in a vital war industry, Rene was not drafted into the Army until September, 1944. He received his Basic Infantry Replacement Training (BIRT) at Camp Fannin, TX.
In January 1945, he was assigned to the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP), division Mechanical Engineering-6 at Rutgers University.
Rene was transferred into the Corps of Engineers and assigned to the super secret Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge Tennessee. He was appointed group leader of one of the groups which was testing the piping being built in the K-25 Gaseous Diffusion plant. (He later found out that this plant would be used to purify/enrich a compound of Uranium). In June of 1946 Rene received his honorable discharge from the Army. Rene returned to Drexel in the fall, where he switched his Major to Electronic Engineering. He received his B.S. in June 1947, and joined IBM the following month.
Rene had an illustrious 35 year career at IBM, beginning in Philadelphia as a Customer Engineering Tech. He worked on EAM machines and Type 604 Electronic Calculating Punch machines, an early programmable digital computer.
In 1953 he was transferred to Poughkeepsie to teach and was made Manager of Engineering Education. His duties included developing courses for Orientation of New Engineers and Defense Calculator.
In 1960, Rene was appointed manager of the new Product Development Lab Library. With the help of his colleagues, he supervised the new library which grew to over 4,000 volumes and periodicals.
On October 8, 1949, Rene married Elizabeth (Betty) Thomas, in St. Elizabeth’s Church in Philadelphia. Betty predeceased Rene on December 4, 2002, after 53 years of marriage. Rene is survived by his daughter, Eileen Sylvester (Bruce) North Granby, CT, son, Ron (Kathy) Poughkeepsie, daughter, Beth Ann (Edgar/Chip) Hansen, New Paltz, NY, and son, Kenneth, at home. He had twin granddaughters, Heather Sylvester, Orlando, FL, Ashley Sylvester, North Granby, CT, and two brothers, Richard (Betty) Sarasota, FL, Robert (Sharon) Osprey, FL and several nieces and nephews.
Rene retired from IBM after 35 years in July 1982. Betty and Rene enjoyed traveling during his retirement. In addition, he did volunteer work at Adriance Memorial Library. He taught photography courses in Adult Ed. at Spackenkill High School. He enjoyed reading, stamp collecting (“damn Scott numbers!”), playing bridge, chess, and watching all his favorite teams on TV; the NY Jets, (Beth’s Giant’s), and the NY Mets as well as attending Renegade baseball games, where he along with his son, Ken, were Charter Members. He was a parishioner at The Church of the Holy Trinity, Poughkeepsie.
Rene will be missed by all those he had contact with. He loved the Holidays, his Birthday parties and any type of family gathering.
He knew he was spoiled by all of the care his children gave him in his “golden years”, especially by Ken!
Visitation will be Monday, March 29, 2021, 5-7PM at the Wm. G. Miller & Son FH, Inc., 371 Hooker Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY 12603. A Mass of Christian Burial will be Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 10AM at Holy Trinity Church, 775 Main St., Poughkeepsie, NY 12603.. Burial will follow with Military Honors in St. Joseph's Cemetery in the family plot.
A celebration of his life will follow at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Pleasant Valley Library Building Fund, or the National WWII Museum, 945 Magazine St. New Orleans LA 70130, or a charity of your choice. If you wish to send a online condolence please visit our website at