Born: 1915-10-08. Died: 2009-03-02.
Edward Z. Gray worked for Boeing Co. from 1943-1963 as a design engineer for the Boeing jet aircraft series as well as the DynaSoar and Minuteman programs. He held a number of positions in systems engineering management, the last one being as development program manager of advanced space systems. He served on numerous committees for the government and aerospace industry, including the NASA research advisory committee on structural loads in 1958-1959, of which he was chairman. In 1963 NASA appointed him to the directorship of its advanced manned missions programs. He worked in that position through 1967, transferred to a position as assistant to the president of Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp. from 1967-1973, and then returned to NASA as assistant administrator for industry affairs and technology utilization. By 1978 he had assumed a position as director of government/industry affairs. In 1979 he joined Bendix Corp.'s aerospace-electronics group as director of systems development.
Obituary - Edward Zigmund Gray, 93, passed away on Monday, March 2, 2009, at his Yuma home. Edward was born in Portland, Oregon. Edward was a retired aeronautical engineer and former Assistant Administrator of NASA.
Edward was preceded in death by his cherished wife of 65 years, Faith Brown Gray; his son, Edward Z. Gray, Jr., and his son-in-law, Doug Lowe. Edward is survived by his daughter, Theresa (Terry) Lowe of Yuma; five grandchildren and their families; Ed Gray III and wife, Jeanie, of Virginia Beach, Virginia; Christopher Gray and wife Diane of Walpole, Massachusetts; Tina Bronson-Lowe and husband Dan of Urbana, Illinois; Andy Lowe and wife Lauren of Chandler, Arizona; Erin Pearson and husband Matt of Athens, Ohio; and three great-grandchildren.
Edward worked in systems engineering management for Boeing in Seattle from 1940 to 1963, heading the stress department and developing new business and engineering avenues for both airplanes and advanced space systems. Edward served on numerous committees for the government and aerospace industry, including chairing NASA's research advisory committee on structural loads. From 1963 to 1967 he served as NASA's Director of Advanced Manned Missions. From 1967 to 1973, he was Assistant to the President of Grumman Aircraft Engineering, with responsibility for ensuring the timely development and implementation of the lunar landing module, the vehicle that delivered the first men to the moon in the Apollo program. Edward especially treasured being present in Houston Mission Control during those first steps on the moon. In 1973 he became NASA Assistant Administrator for Industry Affairs and Technology Utilization with responsibility for developing the transfer of space technology to uses on earth. During this time he helped found the National Space Association. From 1981 to 1985, he was Director of Business Development for Bendix Corporation, exploring wind and other alternative energy sources.
Edward was an avid pleasure sailor, a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and an artist. Edward was a deeply devoted husband, father, patriarch of a large extended family, benefactor, friend, and inspiration to everyone he met. A genuinely religious man who was very knowledgeable about the world around him, he loved to debate and discuss a wide range of ideas. His life sparkled with vision, service, and humor.