Obituary: Robert “Bob” Lockhart

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Bob Lockhart

Robert “Bob” Lockhart passed away Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. He was born Feb. 29, 1932, in Inglewood, Calif. He graduated from North Hollywood High School in 1949 and received his B.A. in electronic engineering from UCLA in 1961. He served in the U.S. Navy, becoming an Electronics Technician 3rd Class. He was honorably discharged in June 1954 and started his 42-year career at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in September 1954.

He married Elaine Phelps in 1956. They have three children: Dennis, Richard and Denise; seven grandchildren, two step grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

While working at JPL, Bob designed instruments on all unmanned spacecraft from the Explorer I in 1968 (the first spacecraft) through the Cassini launch in 1997. While working on the Voyager launch, he was in charge of the group that designed the imaging process that took pictures of Jupiter and Saturn with their moons. While working on the Cassini launch, he was in charge of the U.S. Engineering Division. Bob received the Rank Award for his design of the vacuum tube that would hold an image in memory until it could be processed by computers.

Bob was also a member of the San Fernando Elks Lodge #1539. He became an officer in 1963, Exalted Ruler in 1970 and District Deputy in 1980, and served on many committees.

After retiring, Bob and Elaine moved to Idyllwild, where they joined the Idyllwild Community Church. He served as an Elder on the Finance Committee for several years and was a valued member of the church community for many years.

Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Idyllwild Community Church.

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