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Lester Guenther Lautman
Lester G. Lautman, age 92, of Normandy Park, WA, died Tuesday, January 23, 2018. Born in Portland, OR, our Dad spent much of his childhood in the shadow of the Columbia River Gorge, where his father worked as an engineer and his mother a fish counter at the Bonneville Dam. After graduating from Stevenson High School (Stevenson, WA), he earned his mechanical engineering degree from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Following naval duty, Les began his life's work in aviation in ice research in 1947 atop New Hampshire's Mount Washington, and a year later married the love of his life, Dolores (Lordie) Ann Valesh. They moved initially to Ypsilanti, Michigan, where their first three children - Mark, Denise and Scott - were born. A job offer from Boeing followed, and the family headed West to Seattle, where three more children - Chris, Kirby and Brien - were welcomed, and Les would begin his 34-year Boeing career. His engineering and leadership skills carried him into key roles in high-profile Boeing programs - SST, TFX, AWACS, Minuteman Missile System, Military Contracts (as a Pentagon representative in Washington, D.C.), and Flight Safety. His last leadership role, in Flight Safety, truly showcased his talents and deep experience in so many areas of aviation. In 1990, along with colleagues Peter Gallimore and Richard Sears, he was honored by Boeing and the International Flight Safety Foundation for their "outstanding individual contributions to aviation safety, through basic design, device or practice." Les was also a past president of the International Flight Safety Foundation, further ensuring safe air travel for tens of millions of passengers and crew in the decades that followed. To say our Dad was the consummate engineer would be a gross understatement, as his six children can readily attest. His prep for camping vacations (flow charts), his love of intercoms (6 stations across a split-level home), and the deep satisfaction in all things consistent and efficient (flat-top crew-cut, bow ties, short-sleeve white shirts, slide rules) were daily reminders of who our Dad was. Flashy? Never. Indelible, brilliant, vigilant and kind? Always.
Les was predeceased by his wife, Lordie (2007), his mother, Linna (1979), and his father, George (1986). He is survived by his second wife of eight years, Mary McEachern, his sister, Jorlynn Lautman Tiemessen, and his six children - Mark (Mary Anne), Denise Reibman (Steve), Scott, Chris (Dorothy), Kirby (Kerry), and Brien; his 11 grandchildren -
Sarah, Megan, Lucas, Michael, Ben, Olivia, Claire, Courtney, Brien, Libby and Grace; and his nine great-grandchildren -
Mallory, Charlotte, Noah, Jordan, Montana, Teo, Ada, Francie and Simon.
A memorial mass is planned for 11AM Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Seahurst, WA.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Museum of Flight.
Sign Les' on-line Guest Book at www.emmickfunerals.com
Emmick Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services - West Seattle