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Coleman E. McCaskey, Jr. "Mac" of Cocoa Beach, FL, passed away at Jess Parrish Hospital, Thursday, June 7, 2012. He was born on April 7, 1931 in Ambridge, PA, the son of Coleman E. McCaskey (no suffix) and Mary Kay Patrick.
He is survived by his brother, Raymond R. McCaskey of Midlothian VA; two sons, Coleman E. McCaskey III of Cocoa Beach, Coleman E. McCaskey IV of Merritt Island, FL; 3 grandchildren, 3 step grandchildren, and 1 niece.
Mac grew up in Ambridge, PA and went on to join the Air Force as one of the first jet mechanics specializing in B-47s with the Strategic Air Command under General LeMay. After leaving the service, Mac earned his Mechanical Engineering (BME) degree at the University of Florida in Gainesville where he met his wife, Patricia Ann Burko, whom he was married to for 53 years until her death on March 18, 2010.
Starting with the Gemini Program in the mid 60s, Mac became involved with the Space Race focusing on the heat loading of inertial guidance systems. From there Mac went on to Liquid Oxygen "Lox" starting with the Apollo program and continued with this focus through the final missions of the Space Shuttle Program. Mac also consulted on many other civilian and military projects and developed a patent utilizing super-cooled Freon to repair rocket fuel pipes. Mac worked for NASA approx 50 years right up to the evening of his death.
He was also a diehard Florida Gator and Pittsburgh Steeler fan who loved mid 70s Lincolns, the American Space Program, and pretty much anything else that flew. His passing will leave a void that will be impossible to fill.
Calling hours will be from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm, with services to follow at 1:00 pm, Saturday, June 16, 2012 at Beckman- Williamson Funeral Home in Cocoa Beach. Interment will be at the Sylvania Hills Mausoleum/Chapel in Rochester, PA next to his wife.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Disabled American Veterans, Smithsonian Air/Space Museum, United Service Organization (USO), or Meals on Wheels.
You may sign Mac's guestbook at www.beckman-williamson.com.
Published in FLORIDA TODAY on June 13, 2012