LaMarr Daniel Beatty, 81, passed away peacefully on June 13, 2014 in The Woodlands, Texas. He was born May 16, 1933 in Bellevue, Ohio to Ralph and Dorothy Beatty.
He graduated from Bellevue High School in 1952. After graduation, he enlisted in the US Navy and trained at Great Lakes where he was assigned to the radar picket destroyer, USS Bordelon, taking part in joint NATO training exercise Weldfast. He spent most of his service days in the Mediterranean.
After serving as Machinist Mate - 2nd Class, he was honorably discharged in 1956. LaMarr began a four year apprenticeship at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) which formally became NASA (National Aeronautics Space Administration) in 1958.
LaMarr and Arabella (Belle) were married on June 15, 1957 in Hagerstown, Maryland. Their first years of marriage were spent in Hampton, Virginia where LaMarr joined the Space Task Group, tasked with starting America's manned space program. In 1962, NASA transferred LaMarr and his young family to Friendswood, Texas so he could help with the startup of the Manned Space Center, which later became NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston. He went on to support the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs as part of the Field Test Section of the Technical Services Division. His group was involved in supporting pioneering projects, engineering, qualification testing and flight activities of the manned space programs. He was a safety swimmer for all astronaut water training.
LaMarr retired from NASA in 1988 after 37 1/2 years of government service. He then spent another six years working at DeWalch Technology in Houston. In 2013, LaMarr was inducted into his high school alma mater's "Halls of Excellence" for outstanding alumni who have excelled in their chosen profession.
He dedicated his volunteer time to many worthwhile community organizations that were dear to him. Among them were Friendswood Volunteer Fire Department, Friendswood United Methodist Church, Christ Church United Methodist and Montgomery County Relay for Life. He also served as an Emergency Medical Technician, Fire Marshal, Friendswood High School Band Booster president, and Boy Scout leader. In his spare time, he loved being outdoors, traveling, and spending time with his family and grandchildren. He also spent time in his woodworking shop making beautiful handmade items.
LaMarr is preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Dorothy Beatty. He is survived by his beloved wife Arabella, and two children, Glenn and his wife Monica of Round Rock, TX, daughter Andrea Leger and her husband Bryan of Houston, TX. and his three precious grandchildren, Bryson Beatty and Kendall and Andrew Leger. He is also survived by his sister Marilyn Miller and her husband Clayton of Bellevue, Ohio.
A celebration of LaMarr's life will be held on Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at Christ Church United Methodist (CCUM) at 6363 Research Forest, The Woodlands, TX 77381. Donations may be designated in LaMarr's honor to CCUM's "Young at Heart" Seniors.