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Stan East

Obituary Condolences

Prayer service for Stan East, 63, of Bent, will be Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009, at 7 p.m. in St. Eleanor's Catholic Church in Ruidoso where the funeral Mass will be on Friday, Jan. 30, 2009, at 10 a.m. Burial will follow at the Ruidoso Hondo Valley Cemetery near Ruidoso Downs. 
Mr. East passed away Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009, in Alamogordo. He was born June 2, 1945, in Pasadena, Calif., to Stanley and Ellen East, who both preceded him in death. He moved to Otero County on Oct. 1, 1981, from Helena, Mont. He had served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. He earned a master's degree in education from New Mexico State University. Mr. East married Sandy Steckler on July 27, 1968, in Helena.
For the past 28 years Mr. East's career was devoted to the development and testing of high energy laser weapon systems at the Army's High Energy Laser System Test Facility (HELSTF) at White Sands Missile Range. In 1980, Senior Chief Petty Officer East was transferred to the Navy's White Sands Directed Energy Weapons Detachment and was assigned the responsibility of technical liaison to Hughes Aircraft Company. Hughes was developing a megawatt class high energy laser beam director for the Navy. Following his retirement from the Navy in 1985, he joined the Hughes HELSTF engineering team responsible for directing the Navy's megawatt class mid-infrared advanced chemical laser (MIRACL) to targets of interest. His most recent employment was with the Army's HELSTF Directorate; he was the principal project engineer in charge of overseeing the testing of a mobile laser weapon system. During his HELSTF career, he witnessed the laser weapon destruction of in-flight drone aircraft, cruise missiles, rockets and mortars.
Mr. East is survived by his wife, Sandy, of Bent; a son, Lt. Edward East, of San Antonio, Texas; two daughters, Sharlene Howell, of Albuquerque, and Sarah East, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; six grandchildren, Brittney East, Cassandra East, Austin East, Joshua Howell, Shiri' Howell and Gavin Brumana; and four sisters, Rose Anne Wellman, Ida Mae Pruitt, Christine Ullman and Barbara Klein. He was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Destiney East.
Condolences may be sent to the family at
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Jan. 28 to Feb. 11, 2009
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