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  NASA engineer Sam Beddingfield (1933-2012) (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   NASA engineer Sam Beddingfield (1933-2012)
Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-13-2012 03:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA engineer Sam Beddingfield (1933-2012)

Samuel T. "Sam" Beddingfield, one of the original engineers to report to Cape Canaveral, Fla. to work for NASA in 1959, passed away this morning (June 13, 2012). He was 78.

From a NASA profile written about Beddingfield in 2006 on his being awarded the National Space Club's Lifetime Achievement Award:

Beddingfield retired from NASA in 1985 after a 26-year career with the nation's space agency. He joined NASA at the insistence of Gus Grissom and came to Florida in 1959 to help guide Project Mercury. He was among the first to work on the space shuttle at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and left the program as deputy director of shuttle operations.

Beddingfield shared that he was one of just 33 employees at the spaceport; when employees were assigned numbers, he was number four. "I had worked through 23 [shuttle] launches and decided enough was enough," he said about his decision to end his exciting career.


Credit: Wikipedia/Gary Blakeley

Beddingfield was a long-time volunteer and board member for the U.S. Space Walk of Fame Foundation. He could often be found in the foundation's Titusville museum, giving tours and sharing his stories and experiences working for NASA.


Credit: Retro Space Images/JL Pickering

Memorial services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Tituvsille, Fla. at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday, June 16.

A moment of silence can be signified by a reply with no words and only a period.

rjurek349
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bruce
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413 is in
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KSCartist
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posted 06-13-2012 04:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sam was a true gentlemen and an American hero. He treated meeting a new friend as an opportunity to share his passion for the space program we all love.

He dedicated his career to our efforts and his retirement to inspiring the next generation.

God Bless you Sam. I enjoyed our visits and I can't help but smile knowing that your with your old friends Gus, Al, Deke, Wally and Gordo.

My prayers go to Sam's Family.

RocketmanRob
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posted 06-13-2012 04:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RocketmanRob   Click Here to Email RocketmanRob     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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MarylandSpace
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posted 06-13-2012 04:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had wonderful times at the Space Walk of Fame listening to Sam. He was a walking history book and one of the reasons that I always visit the Space Walk of Fame when in Florida.

NavySpaceFan
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ringo67
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posted 06-13-2012 05:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ringo67   Click Here to Email ringo67     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I met Sam at the U.S. Space Walk of Fame Museum while I was down for the STS-131 launch in 2010.

What a nice guy with so many great stories. I so glad I ask to have a photo taken with him, though it came out blurry. Even so, it's one of my favorite pics from the trip.

My thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends.

.

carl walker
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posted 06-13-2012 05:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for carl walker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First met Sam in 2002, and then on almost every visit to Spacewalk of Fame. He patiently explained almost every b/w photo in one of their display albums, and I could listen for hours. He modestly described one photo where JFK was visiting the Cape, and said he couldn't quite remember the young man standing next to him - of course he could!

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James Brown
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posted 06-13-2012 05:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for James Brown   Click Here to Email James Brown     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An amazing man, with equally amazing stories. I had the pleasure of sitting and talking with Sam on many different occasions. I will miss him. Godspeed Sam.

747flyer
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Rick Boos
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posted 06-13-2012 07:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Boos   Click Here to Email Rick Boos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sam and I were good friends for over 30 some years. He was everything and more that was posted above! I often wondered why a book was never written about his life and times, he like Guenter Wendt was a true icon and will be missed! Does anyone remember that he was the one that gave Al Shepard a box of crayons and a coloring book the morning of the flight, and Gus Grissom a crossword puzzle book to keep them occupied during their flights? He also provided Gus with a parachute in Liberty Bell 7. I alsohave owe Sam and special thanks for all his help in my Apollo 1 investigation. Godspeed my friend!

E2M Lem Man
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chet
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capoetc
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4allmankind
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posted 06-13-2012 09:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 4allmankind   Click Here to Email 4allmankind     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is such sad news. I first met Sam in 2004 and would check in with him every 6 months or so. He was a true living legend and I am proud to have some photos of us together that I will now properly frame to hang among the other space legends that I will always admire.

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Delta7
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Gilbert
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Michael Davis
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Jay Chladek
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posted 06-14-2012 04:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Never met the guy in my visits to the area, but I wish I had.

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spaceheaded
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Rick Boos
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posted 06-16-2012 07:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Boos   Click Here to Email Rick Boos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is the photo of Sam Beddingfield handing Dr. Douglas a crossword puzzle book to give to Gus Grissom to keep him occupied during the flight.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-16-2012 10:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Orlando Sentinel published an obituary for Beddingfield.
As a kid, Sam Beddingfield saved his money to pay for flying lessons, thrilled by the speed and the notion of flight.

That boy, who loved "just being up in the air," went on to become an engineer who helped launch the nation into space.

Beddingfield was a pioneer in the country's space program, arriving in Florida in 1959 to work at what became the Kennedy Space Center. He was lured to NASA by his friend Gus Grissom, who that year was named one of the country's first seven astronauts.

astro-nut
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posted 06-16-2012 01:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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I post these comments with a heavy heart of sadness on the passing of Sam Beddingfield.

Sam was a very good friend to me. Everytime I went to KSC/Cape Canaveral I always made a point to stop by and see Sam.

I could listen to Sam talk for hours about Gus Grissom and the space program. Sam was a very proud employee of our NASA Space Program!

Sam, I will miss having lunch with you as we always did while visiting with you. Sam and I would always end up getting Tuna for lunch. Sam would get a Tuna Salad Bowl and I would order a Tuna on toast sandwich.

I will miss riding in Sam's car and driving around Cape Canaveral and the Titusville areas and just listening to Sam talk about his career at NASA.

I will also miss seeing Sam at the Valiant Air Museum and the Space Walk of Fame Museum as well.

Sam, you were a great friend to me and I thank you. I will cherish our friendship forever! I will return to the restaurant where we always had lunch together but it will not be the same without you.

Godspeed and God Bless!

Sam's family is in my prayers.

Kite
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Ken Havekotte
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posted 06-16-2012 04:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another aerospace legend and friend was lost to everyone on June 13.

His memorial service, celebrating the life of Sam Beddingfield, was held this morning (June 16) in his Titusville church home. It was well-attended by many, including several of Sam's long-time space buddies.

I first heard the name of Sam Beddingfield as a teenage high school student while reading a current issue of KSC's Spaceport News in 1974.

Intrigued by his early association with our nation's space exploration efforts, I wanted to make contact with Mr. Beddingfield and express to him my appreciation and respect for all that he did, and was currently involved with at the time. But mainly of his dedicated NASA work with Project Mercury and the "upcoming" shuttle program.

Within that same week, he had written back to me and signed for me one of my very first space shuttle commemorative covers. It was posted for the "Space Shuttle Port Ground Breaking" in 1974 here at Kennedy that Sam had participated in.

In addition, Sam had gotten for me other signatures of those officials that were first assigned to the KSC Shuttle Projects Office, of which he was chief of the new program assessment office since the early 1970s.

I have that exact cover in my hands as I am writing this; looking back in fond memory of a man that I was fortunate enough to get to know for nearly four decades.

Long since that first letter was typed, I was able to meet with Sam on many occasions, tour the space center with him, and even work with Sam on a project or two and serve with him on a space committee.

I will forever be grateful to Sam Beddingfield of our friendship together. I'll certainly miss hearing his many stories of his early flight test days at Wright-Patterson, knowing and flying with Gus Grissom, and Sam's close association with our nation's Space Task Group along with his later NASA years. What an exciting and wonderful career he had to help put Americans in space and on the moon!

May the Lord comfort his family in this difficult time, but knowing that he lived a long, happy, and fulfilling life.

Joe Frasketi
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DC Giants
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