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Kenneth S. Kleinknecht

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Born in Washington, D.C. on July 24, 1919, to Christian Frederick & Nell May Kleinknecht. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Patricia, daughter & son-in-law Linda & David Troy of Houston, daughter Patty of Sacramento, & son Fred of Sunnyvale, CA. Kleinknecht was a pioneer of aerospace engineering and technology. After receiving his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, he joined the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics at Lewis Research Center in Cleveland where he was project engineer for several aircraft development test programs. In 1951, he became research scientist and Advanced Projects Manager at NASA Flight Research Center, Edwards AFB, where he worked on the development of the X-15 from its inception through its early flights. In 1959, he transferred to NASA'S Johnson Space Center where he served as Manager for Project Mercury, Deputy Manager for the Gemini Program, Manager of Apollo Program Command and Service Modules, Manager of the Skylab Program, Director of Flight Operations and Shuttle Columbia Vehicle Manager. In addition, he served as NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Transportation Systems at European Space Agency in Paris. After a 40-year career dedicated to the research and development of manned space flight, he retired to Colorado in 1981, where he served in various capacities with Lockheed Martin. He received numerous special honors and awards including: NASA Medal for Outstanding Leadership (presented by President John F. Kennedy); NASA Exceptional Service Medal; NASA Distinguished Service Medal; American Astronautical Society's W. Randolph Lovelace, II Award. He was a Fellow in the American Astronautical Society and a member of the International Academy of Astronautics. He served as Executive Board Chairman, Boy Scouts of America's Sam Houston Area Council and was active in Columbine Kiwanis. He was a Thirty-Third degree Mason. Memorial Service Tuesday, Nov. 27, 11:00 a.m., Columbine United Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Pastor's Discretionary Fund at Columbine United Church, 6375 South Platte Canyon Rd, Littleton, CO 80123.
Published in Denver Post from Nov. 25 to Nov. 26, 2007
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