83-year old

After attempting to retire three times, 83-year-old Oro Valley resident  Jim Rosel hopes a love of airplanes will keep him from going back to work this time.

Hannah McLeod/The Explorer

The third time is the charm for 83-year-old Jim Rosel, resident at Desert Springs Gracious Retirement Living in Oro Valley, who is retiring for the third time from his career of engineering.

Rosel’s career of engineering started in the Canoga Park area in California.  He acquired no college degree, but instead, attended an engineering trade school in the 1950s called Cal Aero Tech Institute.  From there, he worked at Benedicts Corporation for 10 years and North America Aviation in the Apollo Program for five years.  Then Rosel moved on to Hughes where he worked for 25 years until retiring for the first time.

“They were offering retirement incentives,” said Rosel, who emphasized Hughes was one of his favorite places to work. “I enjoyed all the projects and there was a very professional attitude about them.”

The retirement from there was short, as he soon started a job at JMR Electronics in the San Fernando Valley.  After five years, he retired once again and decided to move to SaddleBrooke.  

Having worked with Hughes, Rosel had previously visited Tucson and liked the area.

Apparently, Rosel’s plans to retire were halted when he began working with Raytheon, where he has been for the past eight years. Four of those years he worked as a contractor and the other four years as a permanent employee.  

Recently, Rosel retired again, and hopes it might stick this time.

Now looking back over all his years of working, Rosel is one of many his age that has seen a tremendous change in the workplace due to technological advances.  For Rosel, technology in the engineering workplace has made production of work more efficient.

“I am not anti-technology, if that’s a good way to put it. It has helped,” said Rosel. “We used to have to prepare drawings with paper and a pencil, but when computers came around in the 1980s, that all changed and that’s a good thing.”

Even with the many changes Rosel said he’s OK with that.  He had to take some classes at Pima Community College in order to learn more about computers because when he moved to Arizona the job he got required it.

“I took classes at Pima for four semesters and when I graduated I was the oldest person to get a certificate there,” Rosel said with a laugh. “Looking back, I think I should have gone to the ceremony they had.”

Now that Rosel is retired, he plans to pick up on an old hobby to build and fly model airplanes.  As a young child he used to do it and was involved in local competitions where airplanes were ranked by gliding time, endurance and engine efficiency.

Saying he misses flying, Rosel said he hopes this hobby is what will keep him in retirement this time around.


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