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Leonard Orsak

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Leonard Orsak Obituary
Leonard Eugene Orsak of Los Altos, California, died on October 23, 2013, at the age of 78. Leonard was born on November 5, 1934, in Deming, New Mexico, the fifth child of Mary Anna Lukas Orsak and Cyril Paul Orsak Sr. Raised as a hard working farm boy, he graduated from Deming High School, where he lettered in football and was a Boy Scout, a member of the National Honor Society and a faithful member of Holy Family Church. He received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from New Mexico State University, while working at White Sands Missile Range. After college, he moved to the Bay Area to attend Stanford University, where he earned a master's degree in electrical engineering, and to work in a co-op program at Stanford Research Institute. At SRI, he met the love of his life, Marjorie Lucas, to whom he was married for 50 years. Leonard and Marjorie had four children, Michael, Kara, Sari and Amy, whom they raised in Los Altos, where Leonard lived for 48 years. He enjoyed a career in engineering in Silicon Valley. He pioneered in the development of uninterruptible power supplies for mainframe computers, as well as designed electronics for satellites, seismology and wind power, at companies including Develco, Programmed Power, Franklin Electric, Liebert, Emerson Electric and U.S. Wind Power. He was also a graduate of the Program for Management Development at Harvard University. He truly loved engineering and felt fortunate to have found such a fulfilling career. Throughout his life, and especially in his retirement, he passionately pursued woodworking and gardening. He was a man of great intellect and kindness and was a devoted and loving husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by three children, Michael Colby Orsak and his wife Shirley Chu Orsak of Menlo Park, Dr. Kara Orsak and her husband Dr. Kary Karahadian of Fresno, and Amy Orsak Hurlbut and her husband Robert Satterlee Hurlbut of San Francisco. He is survived by his six grandchildren, Nicole and Megan Orsak, Lucas and Benjamin Karahadian, and Byron and Lucy Hurlbut. He is survived also by his sister, Anna Orsak Sloan of Deming, New Mexico. He was predeceased by his wife Marjorie and daughter Sari and brothers Joe, Cyril Jr., and John Orsak. A celebration of Leonard's life will be held at Spangler Mortuary in Los Altos on Sunday, November 3, at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to New Mexico State University College of Engineering to support scholarships for future engineers (at by selecting Electrical and Computer Engineering Scholarship).
Published in Deming Headlight on Oct. 30, 2013
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