Memorial Spaceflights

Leon R. Anderson

"Light To The Beyond"
1942 - 2008

Leon Anderson, (Andy) known to all his friends and co-workers, received his degree in mechanical engineering, cum laude from Western New England College, Springfield, Massachusetts. Andy spent his life studying applied and theoretic designs for turbine mechanics, receiving his master's in mechanical engineering from Renassler Polytechnical Institute. A professor at Western New England College, Andy worked for Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, East Hartford, Connecticut and West Palm Beach, Florida.

Throughout his 30 plus years at Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, Andy was Executive Project Engineer and Chief of Turbine Design and Development. In 1985, receiving the United Technologies Special Award for extraordinary achievement in product design, Andy felt fortunate to create and implement his designs always working as a team with some of the best and brightest minds in turbine design; these were implemented in both commercial and military aircraft and many are still flying today.

Andy had a sharp sense of humor, was a rascal at cards, especially Blackjack, and loved to win. When living in West Palm Beach, he loved to fish, even if the catch of the day had to be thrown back in. A step-father to four daughters, Elizabeth, Marlena, Rebecca and Veronica with Rachael, one of his own, he accepted dual responsibility gladly and sent all to college. He never forgot a birthday.

In his later years developing severe diabetes, Andy suggested moving to Florida. Andy and I, his wife of 37 years, discussed buying an RV. We headed south, exploring areas for one year, selecting a small community in Pasco County, Florida. Even though Andy has left the earth shores of this planet, through this New Frontier Flight he can continue his journey skyward on and upwards. The ideas of energy do continue taking forms of flight, wings into vastness we have yet to see.

"The Eagle's Eye"

Free from gravity of the earth's pull
believe in possibility of
kites above countries. In all our planet's corners
warriors in suits test for a common vision;
craft lightness like the eagle.

To blaze over oceans, dip and rise in formation
arrows of engineers, pilots, sharp minds
forge new frontiers.

The quickness of tracing, maneuvering in clouds
race eyebrows over blue horizons.
Within are those hearts of thunder
in digital cockpits of wings. The
reality of flight lifts safe, up,

above plains, mountains, from winds and rain
you live among red plateaus
and bathe in turquoise giants. Reach for
the sun and moon, you are momentum
flying over cliffs of those wise-chiseled men.

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