RICHARD M. PERRY
Plain Dealer Reporter
MACEDONIA – Joseph C. Monastra, 74, a defense industry engineer who held top-level positions at TRW Inc., Argo Tech Corp. and Technautics Corp., died Thursday at his Macedonia home. In the 1980s, Monastra headed the Sidewinder Warhead Program for TRW and helped the company obtain the contract for the torpedo propulsion system. He was vice president of ArgoTech’s ordnance system division from 1986 to 1991, and was responsible for marketing and new business development at Marine Mechanical Corp., later Technautics Corp. After he retired in 1993, he worked as a consultant.
Monastra was born in Cleveland. He graduated from East Technical High School and from Fenn College, now Cleveland State University. He began working at Thompson Aircraft Products in 1952, investigating fuel pump failures and conducting test programs. After the company became TRW, he helped develop and test booster nozzles for rockets. Monastra served in England on special assignment for the Army from 1954 to 1956. He later was an engineering instructor in the Washington area. He was a member of the Navy League of the United States and served on the steering committee of the underwater missile section of the American Defense Preparedness Association.
He married Grace Maureen Sicurezza 42 years ago. In addition to his wife, Monastra is survived by daughters, Grace Marie Saunders of Chicago, Antoinette Engelke of Denver, Monica Lodge of Chicago, and Pamela Monastra of Atlanta; and eight grandchildren.