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David G. Hoag


1925 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
David G. Hoag Obituary
David Garratt Hoag of Medway MA, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, engineer and environmentalist, died on January 19, 2015 in Natick, Massachusetts, with his wife Grace G. Hoag and son Nicholas Hoag at his side. Dave was especially proud of his large family whom he hosted each week at a Sunday Morning Breakfast. Relatives, friends and guests were all welcome. The family also hosted an annual Strawberry Shortcake Sunday for their many friends. Gatherings at the Hoag house always included walks in the woods behind the house, known as the "Woodsy Walk." Besides his wife of nearly 63 years, Dave leaves five children, Rebecca Atwood and her husband Paul Atwood of Medway, Peter Hoag and his wife Sarah Vincent-Hoag of Watertown, MA, Jeffrey Hoag and his wife Mary Clare Bergen of Providence, RI, Nicholas Hoag of Medway and Lucy Peltier and her husband Leonard Peltier of Wilbraham, MA. He also leaves eight grandchildren, Benjamin Atwood of Baltimore, MD, Julia Golebiewski and her husband John Golebiewski of Medford, MA, Leah Hoag of Worcester, MA, Caitlin Caswell and her husband Bryan Caswell of North Kingstown RI, Noah Hoag of Providence RI, Chloe Hoag of Great Neck NY, David Peltier and his wife Caitlin Cobb of Cranston, RI, Thomas Peltier of Wilbraham, MA, and great-granddaughter Evelyn Caswell. Dave was born on October 11, 1925 in Boston, to Alden B. Hoag and Helen Garratt Hoag. His sister Ann (Nancy) Hoag Button died in 2007. He served in the US Navy, beginning when he was a student at MIT. From MIT he received an SB degree in Electrical Communications and a SM degree in Aeronautical Engineering Instrumentation. Dave spent his entire career at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory which later became the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory. The highlight of his career was his pioneering leadership on the development of the guidance, navigation and control systems for the Apollo command module and the lunar landing spacecrafts. One of his important memories was witnessing the first lunar landing from the VIP room of NASA's control center. In 1951 he served as Technical Director of the Navy Polaris Missile Guidance System and then in 1961 as Technical Director and Program Manager of the Apollo Manned Lunar Landing Primary On Board Guidance System. In 1972 he became the Department Head of the NASA/Army Programs Department, then of the Advanced Systems Department. He was named a Senior Draper Fellow in 1977. In 1980 he became a technical advisor to the President of the C. S. Draper Laboratory and worked as a consultant for many years after his retirement. Other professional associations included President of the Institute of Navigation 1978-1979, the Defense Science Board, Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Chairman of the New England section of the AIAA 1980-1981, Chairman of the Navy Trident Flight Test Analysis Review Group 1981, the Naval Studies Board Panel on Advanced Navigation Technology, and many national task groups involving navigation. Dave received the NASA Public Service Award in 1969, the Thurlow Award of the Institute of Navigation in 1969, "Laurels for 1969" recognition from Aviation Week, Navy Certificate of Merit in 1970, a Special Award of the British Royal Institute of Navigation in 1970, the AIAA Lewis W. Hill Space Transportation Award in 1972, and election to both the National Academy of Engineering and the International Academy of Astronautics. Dave had a life-long interest in natural resources and the environment. He was a charter member of the Medway Open Space Committee for which he compiled the original catalog of open spaces. He was also a board member of the Upper Charles Conservation Land Trust Inc. Many Medway residents will remember his guided walks for third-graders and their families who were working on "the leaf project." He loved to relate interesting lore about the plants and animals that lived on his property, much of which will be conserved in perpetuity. Besides his fascination with the diversity of nature, Dave had appreciation for human cultures. He and Grace traveled to Asia, Europe, Africa and Venezuela, both in association with his work and on vacations. They visited the Soviet Union, the Republic of China and Scotland in sharing programs between engineers and they hosted visitors from those countries at their home, keeping correspondence over the years. He loved exotic food, traditions and art from cultures around the globe. Services will be private. Those who wish to make donations in David Hoag's name, may do so with Doctors Without Borders or the Nature Conservancy. Arrangements are under the care of Ginley-Crowley Funeral Home, Medway (www.ginleyfuneralhomes.com)

Published in The Country Gazette from Jan. 22 to Jan. 29, 2015
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