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Edward Ray Whitehead


1940 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
2/26/1940 - 8/19/2018Edward Ray Whitehead, a resident of Manhattan Beach, CA since 1961, died on August 19, 2018, of sepsis at Providence Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance. He was married to his childhood sweetheart, Pat, for nearly 55 years. They had 3 children: Scott Edward (Liz), Paul Noah (Justine), and Suzanne Elizabeth who predeceased him. His granddaughters Corey, Kalen, Emily, and Audrey were his delight.Ed, the child of Henry Ray Whitehead and Elizabeth Selee Weaver, was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. A sailor, he learned to navigate by the stars. At 14 he enjoyed sailing on the Chesapeake Bay in the catamaran that he designed and built out of an airplane fuel tank. Always a scholar, he graduated from both high school (1958) and college (1961) with honors. At the University of Maryland, Ed received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. While there, he was inducted into: Phi Eta Sigma Freshman honorary; Eta Kappa Nu Electrical Engineering honorary fraternity; and Tau Beta Pi Engineering honorary fraternity. He was Co-Captain of the swim team where his forte was diving. He later earned his Master of Science in EE from USC. Additionally, at UCLA, Ed took more than twice as many Masters Level Astronautics courses than at USC.Ed began his career as an electrical engineer working on biological warfare and detection systems for Douglas Aircraft, which became McDonnell Douglas, then Boeing, and on to United Launch Alliance. He retired as Chief Technology Engineer, Electrical/Electronic Engineering on the Delta II/III and Titan programs. While mentoring others, he participated in over 300 launches with the Delta Guidance Systems being his specialty. Ed loved his work and believed strongly that it was serving his Country.A Life Scout, Ed continued service through BSA Troop 849 with his sons. He enjoyed the many backpacking trips they took and served as Treasurer for many years. He also was in both YMCA Indian Guides and Indian Princesses as Soaring Eagle. For over 30 years, Ed participated in puppy raising for Guide Dogs for the Blind, . He was a member of St. Cross Episcopal Church. Besides being an outdoorsman, Ed was a talented woodworker who enjoyed working on his projects. He will be remembered for his integrity, his strength of character, his strong work ethic, his courage, his kindness to others, his attention to detail, his intelligence, and his devotion to his family.A memorial service will be held on August 30, St. Cross Episcopal Church, 1818 Monterey Blvd. Hermosa Bch, at 2:00PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to L. A. Southwest Guide Dog Raisers (checks payable to Guide Dogs for the Blind 02-09), P.O. Box 1898, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 (www.guidedogpups.com/donate) or Oceanographic Teaching Station/Roundhouse Aquarium (checks payable to OTS), P. O. Box 1, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 (www.roundhouse-aquarium.networkforgood.com.)Please sign the guestbook at dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze on Aug. 28, 2018
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