Henry "Harry" McDonald
1937 - 2021
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Henry "Harry" McDonald
Jan. 24, 1937 - May 25, 2021
Former Director NASA Ames
Dr. Henry "Harry" McDonald, Director of NASA Ames Research Center from 1996 to 2002, passed away peacefully on May 25, 2021, surrounded by his family. He was the beloved husband of June and loving father to Ian, Catriona and Gordon. He will be greatly missed by his nine grandchildren.
Harry was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1937 and educated at the University of Glasgow where he earned a doctorate in engineering. It was at the University where he met and soon married the love of his life, June, who was a medical student. Harry worked in the U.K. aerospace industry on several civilian and military aircraft, and trained as a pilot in the Royal Air Force Reserve before immigrating to the U.S. in 1965. He was head of the Gas Dynamics group at United Technologies Research Center in Connecticut, before founding and leading Scientific Research Associates.
Harry was appointed Director of NASA Ames in January 1996. While Center Director, Harry oversaw a 5,000-person research effort in supercomputing, information technology, aeronautics, biotechnology, and space science research. In 2009 Harry was inducted into the NASA Hall of Fame for providing, "... exceptional leadership and keen technical insight to NASA Ames as the Center re-invented itself in the late 1990s".
He was a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow and Honorary Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, an Honorary Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Aeronautical Society. The RAeS presented him the 2009 Gold Medal Award for work of an outstanding nature in aerospace. The event marked the centennial of the first Gold Medal which was awarded to the Wright Brothers.
A memorial service for Harry will be held June 19 at 10am at the South Congregational Church, Glastonbury, CT. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Henry McDonald Memorial Fund (http://charitysmith. org/memorial-funds/ henry-mcdonald-memorialfund/) which will support engineering education at the University of Glasgow for underprivileged and exceptional students.

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Published in The Mercury News on Jun. 9, 2021.
Memorial Gathering
Memorial service
10:00 AM
South Congregational Church
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6 entries
June 18, 2021
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Don and Madeline Frontel
June 18, 2021
June I feel so bad for you. Hope you are doing well.
Donald and Madeline Frontel
June 9, 2021
My sincere sympathy on the loss of your loved one. May God who comforts those who mourn grant you the strength and courage you need to cope with your grief. God cares for you and is near to all those calling on him. 1Peter5:7
June 8, 2021
Sincere condolences to June and family during this most difficult time. While I did not know Harry exceptionally well, I had the pleasure of living next to June and Harry in my childhood home. I always admired Harry's intellect (and his model airplane collection). My heart was saddened when I heard this news.
Kyle Groothuis
June 7, 2021
I am forever grateful to Harry for giving me the oppurtunity to work for him at SRA. He had a super sharp intellect and equally sharp sense of humor. Harry achieved more in one lifetime than many of us could hope to achieve in several. My wife ,Ginny, and I send our condolences to June and the extended family.
Dave and Ginny Roscoe
June 6, 2021
We were so sorry to hear this news. Though we never met Harry, Patrick has always spoken of him with the utmost respect and awe. What an accomplished man he was. You are all in our thoughts at this most difficult time.
Les and Mary Ann Kenny
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