OBITUARY: Professor, Retired Engineer, Frank Raymond Leslie, 82, of Palm Bay Passed Away Oct. 31
By Space Coast Daily // November 9, 2021
Frank developed a course curriculum and taught students of renewable energy at Florida Tech
BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA – Frank Raymond Leslie, born in Dayton, Ohio, October 4, 1938, passed on Sunday, October 31, 2021, with his daughter by his side. A retired engineer, his parents were Ralph Virgil Leslie and Ruth Harriett Armstrong Leslie of Paulding County, Ohio.
He leaves his daughter, Sharon Leslie (Chris Campbell) of Atlanta, Georgia, his sister Carol Ann Lacey of Westerville, Ohio, and his divorced first wife Rose Ann Leslie of West Melbourne, FL. His second wife of 21 years, Geraldine “Jerry” Maddox (Turner) Leslie of McDonough, GA predeceased him on June 1, 2019, from Alzheimer’s disease side effects.
He graduated in 1961 from Tri-State College in Indiana (now Trine University) with a BS in Electrical Engineering and from Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL with a Master’s Degree in Space Technology in 1968.
Frank was first employed by Sperry Gyroscope, Polaris, finally called Sperry Marine where he installed and calibrated inertial guidance systems on 18 Polaris ballistic missile submarines at Newport News, VA, and rode sea trials.
He then joined RCA Missile Test Project at Cocoa Beach and Patrick Air Force Base, FL, where he tested Eastern Range rocket and missile tracking ships and implanting and surveying missile target arrays as far away as the Indian Ocean.
He joined Harris Corporation in 1978 (now L3 Harris) in Palm Bay, FL. He worked on many military and industrial systems and was the last system engineer on the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System original ground terminal at White Sands, NM.
Frank served with the Harbor City Volunteer Ambulance Squad (HCVAS) during the 1970s-1980s as a crew chief, board member, and scuba diver with the HCVAS’s Scuba Search and Rescue Unit.
Frank enjoyed nature and the environment in the Sierra Club, where he met his second wife Geraldine “Jerry” Maddox. They participated in National Sierra Club Service Trips in the mountain west, eventually with Jerry planning and cooking (five days of grocery shopping) for some 12 to 21 trip members and Frank as the Trip Leader.
These trips were sponsored by the US Forest Service in Wilderness areas; primarily in the National Forest Service Washakie Ranger District, Popo Agie Wilderness Area, 25 miles northwest of Lander, Wyoming.
They did heavy trail work and built log bridges at 10,000 to 12,000 ft altitude, hiking as far as 12 miles to the camp area. They “rested up” on alternate days by climbing small mountain peaks above trail crest altitude. They also did a trip restoring a “lost” Frenchman’s creek trail and climbed Mount St. Helens, WA.
He had diverse interests as an engineer and a scientist. He had long studied renewable energy and sustainability, although his professional experience had been in communications.
In retirement, he became an adjunct professor at Florida Tech, developing a course curriculum and teaching students of renewable energy and sustainability until he had to care for his wife from 2007 until her death in 2019.
He and Jerry traveled to many renewable energy fairs from PA, IL, NM to Oregon, toured the inside of the mammoth Chief Joseph Dam, OR, and went on many bicycle road trips in FL and NC. He referred to himself as a “‘recovering engineer’ in a 12-step program that didn’t seem to be working.”
He and Jerry loved music and attended many concerts and musical events. In remembrance, donations may be made to the Music Program of Florida Institute of Technology’s College of Psychology and Liberal Arts.