Elmer LeRoy Goyette Jr., known as "E.L." to family and friends, passed away in Naples, Fla., December 12, 2012. He is at rest after fighting a battle with Parkinson's disease for several years.
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E.L. was born May 30. 1924 in Mobile, AL to Elmer LeRoy Goyette Sr. and Pearl Battiste Goyette. He was raised in Irvington, AL and graduated from Murphy High School in 1942. During 1943-46 he served as a Sergeant with the U.S. Army Air Force 9th Weather Squadron and was stationed in the Jamaica British West Indies. Upon leaving the Army, E.L. attended Auburn Polytechnic Institute (Auburn University) in Alabama. He graduated in 1949 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. In 1950, motivated by his desire to continue serving his country, he pursued an engineering career at Langley Research Center in Newport News. During his time with NACA/NASA he was responsible for critical contributions to the nation's space flight initiatives, beginning with his work with Langley's Transonic Dynamics Tunnel and continuing through Project Fire, the Saturn Project, the Apollo Program and the early engineering and design of a future space station. He retired in 1979 after 33 years and moved from Williamsburg to Naples.
E.L. was an avid tennis player and ranked member of the United States Tennis Association. He enjoyed playing in tournaments across the state of Florida and at Pinehurst, NC. He was a lifelong member of the YMCA and played tennis regularly there and throughout the Naples /Fort Myers area. At times he taught children how to play and enjoy the sport he loved. He also enjoyed weightlifting and jogging.
E.L. is survived by his children: Elmer LeRoy (Susan R.) Goyette, III of Naples, FL, Marie Davis of Memphis, TN, Elise (Ernest L.) Boyd of Hartsville, SC; three grandchildren: Jason Pulley, Malcolm Boyd, and Kerrie Boyd; and his brother Harold Louis (Doris C.) Goyette of Cambridge, MA. He was predeceased by his wife, the Rev. Martha Lee Goyette.
Memorial donations may be made to AVOW Hospice of Naples, FL; the Humane Society of Naples, FL; or the Naples Area Parkinson's Association.
Published in Virginia Gazette from Dec. 29, 2012 to Jan. 28, 2013