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Raymond E. Anderson

February 27, 1929 — April 19, 2024

Centennial

Raymond E. Anderson

Col. Raymond E. Anderson passed away 19 April 2024. Born 27 February 1929 in Pasadena CA, he leaves behind a loving family: his wife of 68 years, Lorraine Weston Anderson, three sons, six granddaughters, and four great grandchildren with two more due later this year. Col. Anderson was born into a loving family, but a poor one.  From his humble beginnings, he overcame many early challenges and lived a remarkable life that directly impacted thousands of people. 

He entered the Air Force as a 1st Class Airman with a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of California, Berkeley. The Air Force sent him to the University of Texas, where he received his Masters degree, and the University of Michigan for PhD studies in Aeronautical Engineering. 

In 1966, he was stationed at the USAF Los Angeles Air Force base where he worked for the top-secret program known as Special Projects for the Under Secretary of the Air Force, more commonly known as the National Reconnaissance Office.  Key assignments Col Anderson held at the height of the Cold War included the payload return vehicle officer for America’s first reconnaissance satellite called Corona. From 1972 until 1978 Col Anderson was the program director for America’s premier reconnaissance satellite program called Hexagon (KH-9 or more lovingly Big Bird). It is not an exaggeration to state that Col Anderson’s contributions helped prevent World War III by providing detailed knowledge of the USSR’s missile and war fighting capabilities.  For his accomplishments, he was awarded “NRO Pioneer” recognition and is noted on the NRO’s Wall of Fame in Westfields VA.   While many thousands have worked for the NRO, Col Anderson is one of only 102 individuals that have received the NRO’s highest honor.  Throughout his Air Force career, he was also an active pilot and flew almost every US fighter jet in service in during the 1950s and 1960s including a tour in Korea near the end of the war.

After retirement, Ray and his sons founded SEAKR Engineering and built it into the world’s premier space electronics design and manufacturing company. Located in Centennial CO, SEAKR continued Ray’s support of America’s space program first by drastically extending satellite lifetimes with improved data storage technology and later creating some of the most sophisticated data processing computers to ever operate in Space.   Some notable satellites supplied with SEAKR electronics are the James Webb Space Telescope, where every image comes through SEAKR data storage devices; Mars Global Surveyor, assisting in the mapping of Mars for future robotic landers; and Blackjack, a DARPA project to provide autonomous near-real-time war fighting capability through hundreds of satellites.  

Ray continued working at SEAKR Engineering as CEO until his retirement at the age of 91. With the sale of SEAKR to Raytheon in 2021, Ray’s contributions will continue long into the future.

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