Danny Stillman (1934 - 2019)

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  • "Dear Ruth Marti and I were saddened to hear about Danny's..."
    - John Browne
  • "Dear Ruth and family, When I saw that Danny had passed..."
    - Jack Brownell
  • "Ruth and family, So sorry for you loss. Danny was one of..."
    - Gregg Obbink
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On Tuesday, May 7, 2019, Danny Stillman, 85, passed away at his home in Colorado.
Danny was born on January 27, 1934, in Salem, OR. He served in the United States Army Security Agency (the military counterpart of the National Security Agency) during the Korean War. He then used his GI Bill to attend college and graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. degree in Engineering Physics.
Danny had an impressive career including work at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in Livermore, California, Nevada Test Site, Los Alamos National Laboratory, SAIC, and Galaxy. One of the highlights of Danny's career was being a scientific crewmember of an airborne technical team traveling and working onboard a U.S. Air Force NC-135 aircraft for 10 years. The missions he flew involved monitoring foreign atmospheric nuclear weapon tests, studying aurora phenomena in both the northern and southern polar-regions, studying cosmic ray and air glow activity, observing high-altitude barium releases and plasma injections, and gathering data on other electromagnetic phenomena. Danny served as the Division Leader of the International Technology Division (ITD) for over 13 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory. There he managed a staff performing technological assessments of international and engineering developments throughout the world that were impacting our U.S. National Security interests. As an FBI colleague reminisced, "Danny was the consummate intelligence professional…always inquiring…wondering. He possessed an innate intellectual curiosity that helped unravel many a mystery in his field. I learned a lot from him". Danny prided himself on hiring people "who were smarter than him" and he loved to encourage those around him to pursue their ideas and express their opinions.
Danny received the Director's Public Service Award from the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). He was also awarded the Intelligence Community Seal Medallion from the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He had many contributions to the intelligence field, some of which are documented in a book he co-authored with former Secretary of the Air Force, Thomas C. Reed, "The Nuclear Express – A Political History of the Bomb and its Proliferation". A friend and colleague noted that Danny's "contributions to the security of our country will still be helping our intelligence organizations long after we are all gone and forgotten".
Danny had an infectious smile and was known for being a loyal and trustworthy friend and colleague. He loved his family fiercely, and could always be found in the stands cheering his kids on during their various sporting events. Everybody who knew Danny knew how proud he was of his children and their accomplishments. During retirement, he enjoyed spending time on his back patio watching the airplanes fly by, walking along the golf course hunting for lost golf balls, watching Yankees games with his beloved wife, Ruth, and he always loved the challenge of a good word search. He will forever be remembered as a gentle and loving soul.
Danny was preceded in death by his father, Harley, his mother, Hazel, and sisters Willa and Vale. He is survived by his wife Ruth, children Janette (Tom), Kevin, David (Jenn), and Noelle (Joe), and grandchildren Colin, Patrick, Ellie, Sierra, and Mia.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation at https://www.alzinfo.org.
Published in Los Alamos Monitor on June 2, 2019
bullet Korean War bullet University of Washington bullet World War II
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