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Edmund T. "Ed" Tyson

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Cheif master sergeant, U.S. Air Force, retired                       
Edmund "Ed" T. Tyson was born Dec. 17, 1925, in Memphis, Tenn., and raised in Holly Springs, Miss. He served in the United States Air Force for 22 years, supporting the Berlin Airlift in 1948 and designing optical surveillance systems for aircraft at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. After moving to New Mexico, he designed, constructed and managed the operations of the Electro-Optical Observatory in Cloudcroft, which was used in the surveillance of the Russian and U.S. space programs and for astronomical research. During his service as chief master sergeant with the Air Force, he was selected as Airman of the Year in 1958. He was later recognized with the Legion of Merit from the president of the United States in 1966 for his meritorious conduct and outstanding contributions in the detection, tracking and identification of missiles and spacecraft through use of electro-optical engineering and sensors.
After his retirement from managing the Electro-Optical Observatory, he transferred to telescopes and designed and managed the construction for an observatory in Wrightwood, Calif., for JPL. He also designed and supervised modifications to the observatories for both McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, Texas, and the University of Maryland Observatory in Laurel, Md.    
He supported his local community as a physics instructor at New Mexico State University-Alamogordo, was a volunteer for the visually handicapped and hearing impaired, and was the western regional and state instructor for AARP defensive driving. He was an active member in the National Association of Retired Federal Employees, the Elks Club and the First Presbyterian Church of Alamogordo.
He married Alberta Rose Bahr in June 1954. He is survived by his wife; his daughter, Ann Tyson; his son, Andrew Tyson, of Santa Fe; his sister, Sara Harris, of Clarksdale, Miss.; and his brother, Jack Tyson, of Nashville, Tenn.
Graveside service will be conducted at 10 a.m. Friday, July 25, 2008, at Santa Fe National Cemetery with full military honors provided by the U.S. Air Force.
Donation memorials can be made to the Alzheimer's Association.
The Tyson family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Alamogordo Funeral Home to direct the funeral arrangements. Cremation will take place locally at PCS.

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Published in Alamogordo Daily News from July 22 to Aug. 5, 2008
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