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Posts: 495
From: Highland Heights, KY
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 11-24-2004 08:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nojnj   Click Here to Email nojnj     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Report #J04-054


Donald R. Puddy, 67, whose 31-year career with NASA spanned the Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs, died Nov. 22 in Houston following a lengthy illness.

Puddy joined NASA’s Johnson Space Center in 1964 and spent 22 years as a key leader of human space flights in the Mission Control Center.

As a flight director, he led flight control teams during the Apollo Program, the three long-duration Skylab missions and the Apollo-Soyuz Test project. He also served as the flight director for the first Space Shuttle landing on April 14, 1981. Puddy was only the 10th person to become a NASA flight director.

“Don’s leadership as a flight director was critical during our transition from Apollo through the early Space Shuttle flights,” said Milt Heflin, Chief of the JSC Flight Director Office. “His diverse talents allowed him to serve NASA and the country in many capacities.”

Following his work in Mission Control, Puddy held other leadership roles at JSC, NASA’s Ames Research Center, California, and NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC. He was responsible for creating and managing many project and aircraft safety procedures, and he was instrumental in early joint collaboration between the U.S. and Russian space programs.

Puddy's contributions to the space program were recognized by numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal.

A native of Oklahoma, Puddy was inducted into the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame in 2002.

“I had the honor of presenting Don at his induction into the Hall of Fame,” said Heflin. “We are from the same part of Oklahoma, and I felt especially privileged to pay tribute to him that day. He was my friend and my mentor, providing me guidance and encouragement to meet the challenges of working in Mission Control.”

Flags over the Mission Control Center were flown at half staff today to honor Puddy's memory.

Puddy is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife of 48 years, Dana. He also is survived by their three sons, Mike, Doug and Glenn, and six grandchildren. Memorial services are pending.

[This message has been edited by collectSPACE Admin (edited November 24, 2004).]


Posts: 117
From: Vilano Beach, FL, USA
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 11-24-2004 10:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for star51L   Click Here to Email star51L     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very sad to read of his passing. I always felt Don Puddy was an excellent flight director, perhaps somewhat underrated as he may not have been as well-known as the Kranzs, Grifins, et al of the world.

Sy Liebergot

Posts: 458
From: Pearland, Texas USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 11-25-2004 11:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sy Liebergot   Click Here to Email Sy Liebergot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is scheduled to appear in Thursday's Chronicle, but wanted you to get the information ASAP because of the holiday.

Dana Puddy


Donald Ray Puddy, 67, died at home on November 22, 2004 after a brief illness with cancer. He was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma on May 31, 1937 to Mildred and Lester Puddy. He is survived by his wife, Dana, of 48 years, his son, Michael and wife Kathyrn, son Douglas and wife Cheryl, son Glenn and wife Stacy, sister, Carol Keathly and six grandchildren, Randy Blum, Breann Puddy, Dana Marie Puddy, Lauren Puddy, Haley Puddy and Hannah Puddy.

Don served in leadership positions in high school, was awarded a four-year scholarship from Conoco Oil Company and attended the University of Oklahoma where he graduated in 1960 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He served a tour of duty in the Air Force at Eglin Air Force Base where he was involved in rocket high-altitude research. In 1964 he came to Houston to begin a thirty-one year career with NASA. During Gemini IX, the preparatory program for lunar missions, he served as an Agena systems engineer traveling to the remote tracking site Canarvon, Australia. During Apollo XI landing on the moon, Don was responsible for monitoring the systems of the Lunar Module. In 1972, Don was named a Flight Director for Apollo 16 , served as Flight Director for Skylab, the Approach and Landing Test flights, the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project and as entry Flight Director for the first two shuttle orbital flights – STS-1 and STS-2. . During this period, he also received an M.B.A. degree from the University of Houston, Clear Lake. He later moved into senior management duties and served for a brief time as Acting Deputy Director of NASA’s Ames Research Center in California. Following the tragic Challenger accident, he was assigned to NASA Headquarters and in 1987, President Ronald Reagan awarded Don the Meritorious Executive award for sustained superior accomplishment in the management of U.S. government programs. In preparation for shuttle flights to resume, Don assumed the position of Director of Flight Crew Operations where he was responsible for the management and direction of flight crews, selection of new astronaut candidates, and the Shuttle Program aircraft operations. During this time, he attended the Harvard International Advanced Management Program and was again detailed to Washington, D. C. He concluded his career at JSC as a special assistant responsible for developing joint activities for the U.S./Russian space programs. serving as the U.S. co-chairman of the Crew Exchange Working Group for the Phase l Joint U.S./Russian Program.

Don was the recipient of numerous awards during his government service – including five Exceptional Service medals, the Medal of Freedom for Apollo XIII and an Outstanding Leadership Medal for STS-26.

Following his retirement in 1995, he enjoyed playing golf, gardening, organizing reunions of the Apollo systems groups, and especially spending time with his six grandchildren, whom he adored. He was honored to be inducted into the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame in September of 2002.

Family visitation will be held at James Crowder Funeral Home, Webster, on Friday, November 26, 2004 from 5-7 p.m. with a funeral service at Seabrook Methodist Church,

located at Hwy. 146 and NASA RD. 1 at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 27, 2004. Interment will be in Ponca City, Oklahoma.

The family would like to thank Odyssey Hospice staff for the kind and compassionate care they gave Don and the family. Memorials may be made to: American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 570127, Houston, Texas 77257-0127 or the Astronaut Memorial Foundation, Mail Code: AMF, Kennedy Space Center, Florida 32899.

New Member


posted 11-25-2004 11:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Danno   Click Here to Email Danno     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So long CRIMSON flight...

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