ATLANTA - Walter "Breezy" Bressette, 89, died unexpectedly Wed, Jan 2, at his home. Born in 1923 in Moosup, Conn., he was one of five children. He grew up in Westerly, R.I., and was an exceptional high school athlete. During WW II, he was a transport pilot of a C-47 and participated in the Berlin Airlift. In 1948, he received an engineering degree from the University of Rhode Island. That same year he married Geneva Fauquet of Mystic, Conn., and he joined NASA's Research Center at Langley Air Force Base as an aeronautical space engineer. During a 42-year NASA career, he was instrumental to the success of several major research projects that were vital to the U.S. Space program. He was the Space Craft Master on the initial passive communications satellite programs, dubbed Echo I and Echo II. In later years at NASA, he developed infrared satellite mapping technology for the study of water pollution, specifically of the James River. He was known as an enthusiastic and diligent inventor, visionary and theorist. He was a devout Catholic and an avid golfer. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Geneva, and their six children: Victoria Quinn, Walter Bressette, Jr., Mary Hartzheim, Patricia Jenkins, Michael Bressette, Catherine Gentry. In addition to three grandchildren and four great grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Fri, Jan 11, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 2150 Cummingham Dr, Hampton, Va., 23666. The family requests donations to the church in lieu of flowers.
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Published in Daily Press on January 9, 2013