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Robert T. "Bob" Lamson

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Robert T. (Bob) LAMSON Oct. 30, 1914 ~ April 20, 2011 Noted aviation pioneer and sailor, Robert Lamson peacefully passed away at his home on April 20, 2011. Bob was born at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, Washington on October 30, 1914 to Dr. Otis Floyd Lamson and Mrs. Armene Tashjian Lamson. He attended Madrona Elementary School, Garfield High School and graduated from the University of Washington in 1937 with a degree in chemistry. He continued his studies at the Boeing School of Aeronautics where he received a scholarship. With World War II imminent Bob received his Army Air Corps wings in 1940 at Randolf Field, Texas and spent two years as a fighter pilot instructor. He subsequently spent the next 10 years with Boeing Airplane Company and performed the first experimental test flights on nine different aircraft types. From 1952 until his passing Bob established himself in his second career as a commercial aviation consultant of great breadth. Many of his investigations were conducted for northwest corporations and institutions such as Alaska Airlines, Boeing Field/King County Airport, Airborne Air Freight, Wien Airlines and Weyerhaeuser. Lamson's third career, as an early and continuing expert in composite material technology for aircraft, began in 1965 when he built the Lamson L-106 Alcor, the world's first high altitude pressurized sailplane. The Alcor now hangs in the Seattle Museum of Flight Great Gallery. For the last ten years of his life, Bob continued to apply his composite materials expertise to consulting work with Aviation Partners, Inc, also in Seattle. Bob was one of Seattle's pioneering competitive sailors, and built his first sailboat at the age of 11. He was one of the founders of Seattle's Corinthian Yacht Club, and was also among Seattle's first ski racers as captain of the University of Washington's 1936 Ski Team. More important than anything in his life was Bob's devotion to his family. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, June Lowery Lamson, sister Armene Lamson Milliken, sons Robert D. Lamson and Stephen L. Lamson, daughters Wendy E. Lamson, Catherine J. Lamson, and Barbara Lamson Schmidt. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. He is pre- deceased by his mother and father, brother Otis Lamson and a grandson Sean Omri. In lieu of flowers Bob's family requests donations to the Museum of Flight, or your favorite charity. A celebration of his life will be held at the Seattle Museum of Flight at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 22 in the Skyline Room.
Published in The Seattle Times from Apr. 27 to May 1, 2011
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