Jay Henry Greene
Jay Henry Greene, 75, died early morning, October 8, 2017, in his home in Houston, Texas. He was born to Frieda and Irving Greene in Brooklyn, New York, on May 17, 1942.
Jay was raised in Flatbush and attended Brooklyn Technical High School and Brooklyn Polytechnic University (now NYU Tandon School of Engineering). He graduated in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.
Upon graduation, he moved to California to work at North American Aviation. Less than a year later, he accepted a position with NASA at Johnson Space Center (formerly Manned Spacecraft Center) in Houston, Texas, and began a career in space administration that lasted nearly 40 years.
During the Apollo program, he served as a Flight Dynamics Officer, FIDO. His responsibilities in Mission Control included monitoring the trajectory of the Apollo spacecraft, computing changes in orbit and plotting course corrections and adjustments. He quickly gained the respect of his superiors and was chosen to lead the lunar descent of Apollo 11, a prestigious and coveted assignment. Following the Apollo program, he served as the Range Safety Coordinator. He stayed in Flight Dynamics serving as Section Head and Branch Chief through 1982 and then began training to become a flight director. He served as a flight director for ten space shuttle missions. His tenth and final mission, STS-51-L, was on January 28, 1986, the Challenger accident. After Challenger, he chose to retire as a flight director and was appointed head of NASA's safety division. In the following years, among other positions, he worked as Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. He then became Manager of the Space Shuttle Engineering Office where he was responsible for the four shuttle orbiters. He was Deputy Manager for Technical Development on the International Space Station, an engineering marvel. He retired as the Chief Engineer at Johnson Space Center in 2004.
His many awards include the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award bestowed by NASA, the Rotary Stellar Award, the Silver Snoopy award, and distinguished alumni awards from Brooklyn Polytechnic University and NYU Tandon School of Engineering.
In 1969, he began dating Jo Anne Miranda from Galveston, Texas. Jay and Jo Anne met on a blind date that was set up by friends, and they married on January 27, 1972. They had one son, Aaron, their pride and joy.
Jay had a passion for scotch, jazz and baseball; he loved his Brooklyn Dodgers and the Houston Astros.
He enjoyed playing racquetball and cycling.
Jay is survived by his wife, Jo Anne; son, Aaron; daughter-in-law, Teresa; grandson, Jake; his sister, Bonnie Lerner; brother-in-law, Martin Lerner; and brother-in-law, Joe Miranda, Jr
Private funeral services were held on October 11, 2017 at Beth Yeshurun Cemetery on Allen Parkway in Houston.
Donations can be made to Congregation Shaar Hashalom, the American Diabetes Association, NYU Tandon, and the Alley Theatre in Houston.