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Arthur D. Halenbeck


1927 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Arthur D. Halenbeck Obituary
April 14, 1927 - January 27, 2017 Arthur Davis Halenbeck, a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, died peacefully on Friday, January 27th after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Arthur is survived by his wife of 48 years Kathryn, and his six children Karen, Laura, Brad, Robert, Peter and Chris, and 13 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. Arthur was predeceased by his son Arthur Smith Halenbeck. Arthur "Art' was born in New Jersey on April 14th, 1927 to his parents Dorothy and Arthur, fondly referred to as "Dede and Papa." Art grew up on Cape Cod where his mother, an excellent sailor, was the first woman captain to win a major sailboat race on their 37 ft. racing yawl "Sea Lady." This instilled in Art a love of sailing and adventure that he eagerly embraced throughout his life and passionately passed on to his family. Arthur attended prep school at the all-boys school, Moses Brown and then went on to MIT. After his first year at MIT he joined the Navy where he became an Electronics Technician 2nd class. After the war ended he returned to MIT where he graduated in 1949 in the top 10% of his class with an engineering degree in electronics. In 1950 Art married his first wife Joan Smith, also an avid sailor, and together they had four children before they moved to Malibu, CA to have their fifth. In 1968 Art married his second wife Kathryn Bowman who had two children, Karen and Brad, and they all moved into a lovely home on Zuma Beach to raise a blended family of seven. As parents and stepparents, Art and Kathy did an amazing job to love and care for all their children equally no matter how challenging they became. Art loved his family dearly and together with his sister Bobby arranged for several large family reunions at Montecito Sequoia Family Camp and Asilomar in Pacific Grove that left many wonderful memories we all cherish to this day. Art began his career in 1949 at Hazeltine Corp. as a design engineer, then moved to Packard Bell, then to Aerospace where he worked as the Chief Engineer on design and operation of top secret satellites that kept track of all Soviet weaponry. He was also part of the Manned Orbiting Laboratory program for the US Air Force that was the predecessor to SkyLab and the current International Space Station. In 1978 Art moved to Washington where he headed an Evaluation Team for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with the rank of GS-17, as an Assistant Director appointed by President Carter. He later became the director of Advanced Operations at NASA. In 1983 Art retired to 42 ft. sailboat named Phoceana and sailed from Maine to the Bahamas, each summer and winter, over three wonderful years. In 1986 he moved to Aptos, CA where he became a consultant on Arms Control Verification and Space Systems for the next five years. Sailing was Art's passion throughout life, whether sailing to Catalina for the 100th time, or launching a Hobie Cat through the surf at Malibu Yacht Club, racing from Newport to Ensenada or cruising from Maine to the Bahamas. In retirement at age 70 Art learned to fly and bought a Cessna 172 and flew all around California and Nevada. They often were solo flights as Art discovered his family was too afraid to fly with him. In his spare time Art volunteered as a counselor to the elderly on Medicare, Medigap, and Long Term Care. Art also was passionate about politics and preserving the integrity of our democracy. He was concerned about extremism and intolerance, and the lack of rational discourse. He said that the connected world seemed to help commence but also splinter groups, and was not improving our society. Art left many wonderful memories in the hearts and minds of his children and grandchildren. We are thankful for our time with him and the love and guidance he showed us. We will miss him dearly. The family is planning a private Celebration of Life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the hospice foundation, www.assisted1.com, under the "Foundation" tab.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Feb. 4 to Feb. 5, 2017
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