Mr. Carson "CM" Giesler, 83, passed away on March 1, 2013, at Autumn House.
He is survived by his loving wife, Aline (Lin) Harrison Giesler; four daughters, Kimberly Sterling (Brian), Laura Johnston (Greg), Dana Giesler (Tommy) and Bari Clark (Jim); five grandchildren; four great grandchildren; three step grandchildren; five step great grandchildren; his sister, Helen Easterwood.
CM was preceded in death by his parents, George and Hughie Giesler; brothers, Mose and Douglas; sisters, Aneita and Juaneita, Mildred and Ethel.
CM was born November 9, 1929 in Cove, Polk County, Arkansas. CM graduated from Cove High School in 1948 receiving an athletic scholarship to the University of Arkansas. However, he decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy and see the world. During the Korean War, he was stationed in Guam and then Hawaii, as an Electronics Technician. He was honorably discharged as a First Class Petty Officer in August 1952. He married Joyce Curnutte in Hawaii.
Following his military service, CM worked for Chance-Vought Aircraft in Irving, TX as the Test Conductor (Regulus I and II Guided Missiles). In 1959 CM moved to St. Louis, MO as Supervisor of Design and Testing (Mercury & Gemini Space Capsules) for McDonnell Aircraft. CM attended night classes at Washington University graduating in 1963 with a B.S. Degree in Physics. CM went to work for NASA in 1963. During his 26 year tenure at Kennedy Space Center, CM worked in Gemini/Apollo/Lunar Module Operations as: Test Integration Engineer, Staff Asst. to Manager, Lunar Module Test Manager, and Lunar Module & Lunar Rover Contract Technical Manager; in Space Shuttle Operations as: KSC Representative, Technical Asst. for Project Integration, Chief of Project Integration Staff, Technical Asst. & Advisor to Director, and Deputy Director; he was the KSC's Space Station Project Manager when he retired on December 30, 1989.
CM received two NASA Exceptional Service Medals, the Center Director's Award, and NASA's Outstanding Leadership Medal. He was appointed a Member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) by the NASA Administrator. In 1988 Ronald Reagan, the President of the U.S., conferred upon him The Rank of Meritorious Executive in the SES.
In 1975 CM remarried. His wife, Lin, has been his best friend, devoted companion and soul mate for 37 years.
CM's family is very proud of his participation in and contribution to the National Space Program. With his technical knowledge and expertise, ability to gather together the right group of experts, he inspired others with a vision of accomplishing incredible goals in projects never before attempted which have led to countless technological and medical breakthroughs benefitting everyone in the world.
CM lived the American dream. From a poor country boy growing up on a farm in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas to Manager of the Space Station Project Office at KSC, he proved that by setting a goal, having a plan and working hard all things are possible.
The family gives their heartfelt thanks to the staff of Autumn House and to CM's Vitas Hospice team for their loving care and support during his valiant "long goodbye" struggle with Alzheimer's.
Carson (CM) is participating in the Florida Brain Bank Research program, Alzheimer's & Dementia Resource Center, 1506 Lake Highland Dr., Orlando, FL 32803, www.adrccares.org. Donations in his honor would be greatly appreciated and help fight this devastating disease.
Arrangements entrusted to Beckman-Williamson Funeral Homes and Crematory in Viera.
Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.Beckman-Williamson.com.
Inurnment will take place at a future date at the East Central Florida National Cemetery in Scottsmoor, FL.
A memorial picnic to celebrate CM's life is being planned by the family for a later date.
Beckman Williamson Funeral Home - Viera
5400 Village Drive
Viera, FL 32955
Published in FLORIDA TODAY on Mar. 7, 2013