Alan Lovelace
1929 - 2018
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Alan Lovelace

Melbourne - Alan Mathieson Lovelace, 88, died April 18, 2018 at Autumn House assisted living facility in Melbourne, FL, following declining health. He is survived by his son, William Lovelace, daughter-in-law Susanne Lovelace; his daughter, Denise Lovelace; two grandchildren, and many friends.

Alan was born September 4, 1929 in St. Petersburg, FL. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Florida in 1951 and then completed his Doctor of Philosophy in 1954 in Organic Chemistry. He met his wife of over 50 years, Kathie Lovelace, at the University of Florida and they were married in 1952. Supported by his wife and family, Alan had a long and distinguished career in both the public and private sectors. While working for DuPont in Kinston, NC, he was called for service in the Air Force in 1954 as a Second Lieutenant. He was assigned to the polymer branch at the Air Force Materials Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio where he was instrumental in starting up the laboratory and eventually becoming the Director. In his next role, Alan moved his family to Maryland to lead the laboratories of Air Force Systems Command in VA and then advanced to the Pentagon as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Air Force Office of Research and Development. In 1974 he transferred to NASA as the Technology Associate Administrator for the office of Aeronautics and Space Technology, and this led to a role as Deputy Administrator of NASA from 1976 to 1981. For a critical period between U.S. Presidential administrations, he was the Acting Administrator for NASA during the first Shuttle launch STS1. For his guidance during this period, he received the Presidential Citizens Medal in June of 1981 from Ronald Reagan. In 1981, Alan left NASA to join General Dynamics where he lead the Space Systems Division in San Diego to develop the Atlas as a commercial launch vehicle.

Alan and Kathie retired in 1996 and returned to their Florida roots, living on Merritt Island, traveling throughout the world with their friends, and enjoying time with their grandchildren. After Kathie passed away in 2007, Alan found love briefly again, marrying Janet Bonder of Melbourne in 2011. Alan and Janet enjoyed the company of Janet's daughters, took art classes and enjoyed socializing with friends in the mountains of North Carolina until Janet's passing in 2013.

A remembrance service will be held on Friday, May 18th at 2:00 pm at Beach Funeral Home, 4999 N. Wickham Rd., Melbourne, FL. In lieu of flowers please donate to a charity of your choice or the Marine Resources Council (

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Published in FloridaToday on May 6, 2018.
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May 7, 2018
You have our deepest sympathies. We pray in your behalf, and look forward to the day when we will welcome our dear loved ones back to a Paradise Earth. Ps 37:29
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