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Leslie Gustafson

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Leslie Gustafson

Leslie "Gus" Gustafson passed away September 4, 2012, seven weeks after his 90th birthday. He was born in Lowell, Washington and graduated from Everett High School. His diversified interests included electronics, chess, football and skating. Gus was the Junior Chess Champion of Washington State and performed with the Rollicking Rollers amateur skating team.
At the beginning of WWII, Gus joined the Navy and served in every major arena in the Pacific. He survived the sinking of the USS Longshaw off Okinawa and saved several of his shipmates from drowning. He earned numerous awards, including 12 bronze stars during his service.
After WWII, Gus returned to Everett, Washington and married the love of his life, Aurelis, in 1946. He enrolled at the University of Washington on the GI Bill and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Physics and a 3.973 GPA.
In 1953, Gus was recruited by Hughes Aircraft Company in California and the family relocated to Manhattan Beach. At Hughes, Gus was part of the team that launched Syncom, the first synchronous communication satellite. He continued as Program Manager on numerous projects in the Space and Communications and Military Satellite Groups overseeing satellite launches and ground stations around the world.
Gus and Aurelis joined the King Harbor Yacht Club and enjoyed sailing, socializing, and shrimp-eating at the Club. Gus was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Mu Epsilon Honor Societies and IEEE.
Gus retired from Hughes in 1982 and he and Aurelis moved to their dream house on the ocean in Pismo Beach, CA. He volunteered as a docent for the State Parks, working at the Morro Bay Natural History Museum and the Monarch Butterfly Reserve, served as president of the Sunset Palisades Improvement Association, and, as a Master Duplicate Bridge Player, organized tournaments for several duplicate bridge clubs.
He and Aurelis traveled all over the world, including a cruise around Europe for their Golden Anniversary. His final exotic voyage was travelling to the Galapagos Islands. Locally, he still looked forward to his yearly visit to Disneyland.
He is survived by his children Sharon Gustafson of Redondo Beach, Gary Gustafson of Pismo Beach, and Lynn Gustafson of San Pedro, his two granddaughters Erika (Scott) Faucher and Jenna Gustafson and his twin great-grandchildren Sean and Alexandra Faucher. His wife, Aurelis, predeceased him in 1999. The family wishes to thank Brenda Martinez and her family for the loving care of our father these past years.
No funeral services are planned at Mr. Gustafson's request, with his ashes to be scattered at sea in Pismo Beach. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Central Coast State Parks Association (CCSPA), 20 State Park Road, Morro Bay, CA 93442 or . Please sign the guest book at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze on Oct. 17, 2012
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