Manfred Sobotka, a retired aeronautics and electrical engineer who lived on Round Pond Lane in Sag Harbor for 41 years, died of heart failure on May 4 at Southampton Hospital. He was 84 and had been ill for several years, his family said.
Educated at Farmingdale State College and Hofstra University, Mr. Sobotka served for three years in the Army in undercover intelligence. He later joined Airborne Instruments Laboratory, a company then based in Deer Park that developed technologies for radar systems, electronic warfare, and submarine detection. During his 29 years there, he traveled extensively throughout the United States and overseas, working on government space projects.
After retiring, Mr. Sobotka worked at Southampton Lumber for 17 years and drove school buses in East Hampton and Sag Harbor for 11 years.
“He was a very smart man,” said the former Frances Bill, his wife of 57 years, who survives him. “And he was crazy about planes.”
Mr. Sobotka was born on Nov. 17, 1929, in New York City to Frederick Sobotka and the former Lillian Roberts and grew up in Valley Stream. He was a Mason and a member of the American Legion in Patchogue and the Old Whalers Church in Sag Harbor.
He is survived by four children, Fred Sobotka of O’Fallon, Mo., Patrick Page of Nescopeck, Pa., Debra Maceluch of Yaphank, and Kendell Thommen of Sag Harbor. He is also survived by a sister, Meredith Perone, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. A son, Peter Page, and a sister, Nadine Berardi, died before him.
A funeral service was held on May 10 at Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor, with burial following. The family has suggested memorial donations to the Old Whalers Church, P.O. Box 1241, Sag Harbor 11963.