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Don "D.R." Beckerleg

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Don "D.R." Beckerleg Obituary
Beckerleg, Don "D. R."
81, died April 28, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ. He was born in Miles City, Montana on June 16, 1933. His father died when he was only 7. When Don was 12, he moved to Phoenix with his mom and 3 younger siblings. Don attended Whittier grade school and North High School. At 17, Don went to work at Goodyear Aerospace. Within 1 year he was promoted to Flight test engineer for Automatic Terrain Recognition and Navigation (ATRAN) system for the MACE missile. He continued in development and flight test of the SAR (synthetic aperture radar) for the B-58 Hustler. He loved to work and loved to learn. From 1964 thru 1989 he was Development Engineer, Flight Test Director, Project Engineer, and Overseas field site manager for the radar system of the SR-71 'Blackbird". He was again Flight Test Director for the reactivation of the SR-71 and data link integration from 1995 thru 1997. He was involved with the MSAR, the TUXEDO SAR, the HIKER MTI and FTI operations and finally Flight Test Engineer and Deployment team supervisor for FOPEN radar system. Don was fortunate to fly 1150 hours in 14 different radar development/flight test aircraft. He traveled to all 50 states and 31 different countries. Don's two favorite places were the San Juan mountains of Colorado where he loved to 4-wheel drive his trusty Scout and explore old gold and silver mines, and Havasupai where he loved to hike. Don is survived by his wife Janice, his daughters Karen Scoggins of Poway, CA and Ronda Beckerleg-Thraen of Phoenix, and his sons James Beckerleg and John Beckerleg also of Phoenix. On Friday May 29 at 9:30 am his ashes will be inurned in the National Memorial Cemetery, Shelter #3, 23029 North Cave Creek Road, Phoenix. His Celebration of Life will be at 11:00 am at Paradise Valley United Methodist Church chapel, 4455 E. Lincoln Dr, Paradise Valley. A lunch reception will follow.

Published in The Arizona Republic from May 22 to May 24, 2015
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