Dr. George Chi-Chien Feng

Dr. George Chi-Chien Feng, 91, passed away peacefully in his sleep on April 28, 2023, surrounded by his loved ones.

The oldest of seven siblings, George was born on November 11, 1931, in Shanghai, China. He received his Bachelor of Science from the prestigious National Taiwan University before arriving in the United States in January, 1959 with only $200 in cash to his name. Through his work ethic and natural affability, George found a job as an engineering assistant and received a scholarship to the University of Minnesota, where he went on to obtain his PhD in astronautical engineering in 1965.

George began his career as a professor at the University of Illinois before his work with Lockheed Martin and Boeing brought him to Huntsville, Alabama then Houston, Texas. During his career, he mentored many engineers and made immense contributions to the space industry, including his work on the first manned orbital flight of the Space Shuttle. George was an avid bridge player, traveler, and cherisher of the sweeter things in life—namely, Blue Bell ice cream and apple pastries.

Never one to seek accolades or limelight, George pursued a life of quiet accomplishment. If his humility ever wavered, it was only in the pride he felt in his family. His gentle tenacity will be lovingly remembered by his wife of almost 60 years, Pi-Lien; his children, Jane and Ven, and daughter-in-law, Dorothea; grandchildren and partners Josh & Minz, Sarah & Marco and Jacob; and great granddaughter Misha; surviving siblings Henry, Steve, James and Janet; and many dear friends. Though he has passed, the compassion and generosity he inspired will live on in all those who knew him.

A celebration of life will be held at Crowder Funeral Home, 111 East Medical Center Boulevard, Webster, TX 77598 on Tuesday, May 2 at 2:45pm. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation (https://www.aiaa.org/get-involved) to support the education of the next generation of aerospace students.


  1. Ven,
    I did not know your dad (Dr. George Feng). But from the short description of his life, he would have been a person who would have had a positive influence on all with whom he came in contact and who I would have liked to have known. Being around you, I see the positive traits he must have passed on to you (work ethic, kindness to others, humility, and love of family). I have personally experienced the kindness you and Dorothea have shown to me. I am sure you are proud to claim him as Dad and he will be missed.
    From the obituary, one of the things Dr. George and I had in common was a love of Blue Bell ice cream. Don’t know if he had a favorite but mine is butter pecan. From his picture, it appeared he kept his Blue Bell appetite under control. Mine, not so much, as I am a Blue Bell acholic and it shows.
    My condolences in your loss,
    Leon Pennel

    Leon Pennel
  2. My sincere condolences to you Ven and your family,

    George’s contributions to the NASA Space Program paved the way for us at NASA/JSC to actively continue his legacy. He allows all of us to live a similar life of service to our families, our country, the NASA program, and the peaceful evolution of mankind to reach further into the heavens. God speed George Feng and thank you.

    Barbara Gaden
  3. Seems he led a fantastic life and left quite a legacy. No wonder why you’re such a bad***. 🙂 Condolences to you and your family. Sincerely, Tracy and Chuck Bailey

    Tracy Bailey
  4. My deepest condolences to Pi-Lien, Ven, Jane, and all of George’s family.

    George was my first boss coming out of college back in 1984. No one could ever hope for anyone better suited to serve in that role. Not only was he technically savvy, he had a great way with people. He managed with a gentle firmness that was – in hindsight – ideal for setting younger folks’ careers off on a good trajectory and his legacy in doing so is still very much evident at JSC, both on the civil servant and contractor sides. I am certain I would not have gotten as far as I have without George there at the beginning to set me on my path and I will always be grateful for that.

    Above all else, though, he was simply an outstanding person. He will be dearly missed.

    Ken Schultz
  5. George (he never insisted on the Dr. Feng title) was a joy to know and play Bridge with, even though I was usually one of his opponents. He always had a smile and was always upbeat and friendly. One of my favorite memories was the time he was on a team at the Bridge tournament in Houston with 3 ladies, one of whom always wore a hat. I happened upon them when George was modeling the hat with a big smile on his face! It’s always a surprise to me to learn that someone so self-effacing and down to earth has all these degrees–of course I could have guessed it from the way he played faultless Bridge. He was even generous enough to give me a few tips when he set my contract!!!

    Judy Boyce
  6. Ven,
    I’m so sorry for your loss, my deepest condolences to you and your family. Your father’s contributions to this business that we all cherish were immense, and will long be remembered and appreciated by those of us who’ve come behind him to carry the torch. I did not know him well, but I’m certain he was very proud of you and the legacy that you are carrying on for him and your family. I pray you will find peace and comfort in the wonderful memories of your father. Best, LeRoy

    LeRoy Cain
  7. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Feng family during this difficult time of loss. Although I didn’t know George, he was an accomplished man, and it is evident his positive traits had a lasting influence on his family. May God’s comfort be with your family.

    John Vollmer
  8. I loved your father dearly and was able to stay in touch, even when he no longer was my partner at the Bridge club. He was a sweet, gentle man who played brilliant bridge. I treasure every moment.

    He sent pictures of Misha via text. How he treasured that little girl. i know he must have been a wonderful husband and father, as well, because his love for everyone was so evident.

    I miss him and will remember him fondly forever.

    (P.S. I am the lady who wears hats. I have the cutest pic of your dad and us three girls who were a team at the bridge tournament. I would be happy to send you a copy, if you would like.)


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