Ray Allenson

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  • - Daniel
  • "Ray was very important in my career both at NASA and Los..."
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Former Los Alamos resident, Ray Allenson, 85, passed away August 17th at New Braunfels, Texas. Ray grew up in the Danish community of Danevang, graduating at 16 as valedictorian of El Campo High School, and from Texas A&I (now a Texas A&M campus) with a double major in mathematics and chemistry, graduating summa cum laude with highest honors.
He then joined Rocketdyne's solid propellant manufacturing facility in McGregor, TX, receiving two missile related patents. Several years later, he became a senior staff member at LANL responsible for various nuclear weapon designs. A 22 year history with LANL was interrupted for several years by working in Houston for TRW, a NASA contractor responsible for developing trajectory software for the Apollo program. Ray led a TRW group developing several software trajectory packages, one of which was used to bring the severely crippled Apollo 13 safely back to earth. As a ballistic engineer, Ray worked on several systems, notably the Sparrow and Sidewinder missiles, a jet assist take off (JATO) motor, and the Ullage motor for the Apollo project.
His last few pre-retirement years were spent at Los Alamos and in Washington DC with DOE and SAIC developing methodologies for managing US nuclear material inventories.
Ray was preceded in death by his first wife of 48 years, Hazel (Roades) Allenson; his wife of 10 years, the late Juanita (Fister) Allenson; and two brothers, Leo and Clifford Allenson. Ray is survived by his wife of almost 6 years, Sarah (Sally) (Wagner) Allenson of New Braunfels; his children with Hazel, Duby Baxter (Alaska) and David Allenson (Texas); as well as his son-in-law Loran Baxter; daughter-in-law Mary (Holcomb) Allenson; and granddaughters Sarah and Kristy Allenson.
A grave side memorial service and celebration of life will be held in El Campo, TX on Saturday, November 10th, 11:30 am, Oaklawn Memorial Park Cemetery, 4609 State Highway 71 North. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Ray's name may be made to: Danevang Heritage Museum, PO Box 368, Danevang TX, 77432; Woodlawn Baptist Church, "Allenson Mission Account," 4600 Manchaca Road, Austin TX 78747; or the South Texas Children's Home Ministries, Higher Education Scholarship Program, PO Box 759, Beeville TX 78104-0759.
Published in Los Alamos Monitor on Oct. 31, 2018