Longtime Space Center Engineer Donald Wayne Best, 85, Passes Away Dec. 4 in Cocoa Beach
By Space Coast Daily // December 11, 2019
worked on many Boeing Programs starting with BOMARC Missiles in 1957
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA – Donald Wayne Best, age 85, died December 4, 2019, in Cocoa Beach. Wayne was born in the small town of Norman Park, Ga.
At age 9 his family moved to the nearby larger town of Moultrie, GA., where he graduated from High School in 1951.
He earned his Airplane Pilot License and his Airframe Mechanic License at Americus, GA in 1952/53. Wayne entered Auburn University in 1953 and earned his Aeronautical Engineer Degree.
He then joined the Boeing Company at Cape Canaveral in 1957 as a Mechanical Design Engineer, the start of an enjoyable and rewarding 32 years with Boeing.
He married Sylvia Jane Hendley, from Cross Plains, TN in 1965, and they had 47 good years together until her death in 2012. Most of his years with Boeing were spent at the Cape and at Kennedy Space Center, and at times at Vandenburg AFB, CA, Seattle, WA., and Huntsville, Al. But Cocoa Beach was always’ HOME BASE’
He worked on many Boeing Programs starting with BOMARC Missiles in 1957, then Minuteman Missiles, Lunar Orbiter Spacecraft, Lunar Rover Vehicles, and finally, Internal Upper Stage Rockets.
He received the cherished Silver Snoopy Pin from the Apollo Astronauts for his work on the Lunar Rover “MOON BUGGIES’.
Wayne retired from Boeing as Mechanical Design Specialist in 1989 at age 55 to play golf, cards, and to just enjoy the easy and good life in Cocoa Beach.
All his life, he was non-political and non-religious but embraced the principles of libertarianism, and the findings of evolutionism, astronomy and cosmology.
He is survived by his sister, a nephew and two nieces.
No services will be held locally. Donations in Mr. Best’s memory can be made to the Cocoa Beach Public Library.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Beckman~Williamson Funeral Homes & Crematory, Cocoa Beach.