Raymond Bernard Gavert

September 27, 1932March 25, 2013

Dr. Raymond Bernard Gavert passed away on March 25, 2013. In 2006 he retired from NASA Headquarters in Washington DC. He was involved with the Wake Shield and Space Shuttle materials experimentations in microgravity. He was an enthusiast of space science and exploration. In retirement he remained active as an author. He wrote “Robots, Colonauts, Moon Clubs and the Strange Lights on the Moon”. This science fiction novel reflected his American Institute of Physics papers, which discussed lunar colonization, market driven space exploration, and commercial markets in space. Dr. Gavert was born Sept 27, 1932 in Jamestown NY. He received his B.S. in metallurgical engineering from Purdue University in 1955 and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in 1960 and 1966 respectively from the University of Wisconsin. He served in the US Army in Korea from 1955 to 1957.

From 1957 to 1959 he was a Pratt & Whitney Aircraft metallurgical development engineer. After that he was involved in advanced nuclear systems at the NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, OH. He joined the General Electric Missile and Space Division in King of Prussia, Pa., in 1965 as a spacecraft materials research and development engineer. From 1966 until 1968 he was a materials project engineer for the SNAP 27 radioisotope thermoelectric generator used in the Apollo space program. One of these devices is on display at the Smithsonian. During this period he taught Solid State Metallurgy at Penn State in King of Prussia. From 1969 to 1975 he worked at GE Corporate in Schenectady, NY. Dr. Gavert was appointed to the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment in 1975 to support US materials policy decisions related to the conservation of materials. He was an early proponent of hybrid vehicle technology. During the 1980’s he was involved with SDI “Star Wars” at the Defense Nuclear Agency.

Dr. Gavert is survived by his wife of 53 years Cynthia F. Gavert; daughter Wendy E. Gavert; son William B. and his wife Evelyn Gavert; grandsons Christopher Leonowicz and Thomas Gavert; granddaughters Caitlin Leonowizc, Olivia and Eva Gavert; sisters Marilyn G. McElhinny, Onnolee Samuelson and her fiancé, Jim Murphy, and Darlene McIntyre and her husband, Brian; niece Jill K. Mondo and her husband, Craig

He was full of life and an avid learner with many interests. He enjoyed acting in plays, learning new languages, skiing, singing and playing piano. He always encouraged his children and grandchildren to pursue their interests. He will be greatly missed. Funeral arrangements are by the Domaine Funeral Home in Alexandria VA. Wake is from 6:00pm to 8:00pm April 1 and the Domaine Funeral Home An 11:00 service will be held on April 2 at Aldersgate Church, 1301 Collingwood Drive, Alexandria, VA.


  • Visitation Monday, April 1, 2013
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Raymond Bernard Gavert

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Sam & Gretchen Alessi

April 9, 2013

We just learned of Ray's passing, and are so sorry. He was a good friend from long ago - high school days.We saw him occasionally at reunions, and it was always a great pleasure to talk with him. We are sure he will be missed, and please know that his many friends are thinking of you in the days ahead.

Rick Sheil

April 8, 2013

Wendy and the Gavert family, I am so sorry to hear about your father. The Sheil family will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers.

Mike Smith

April 3, 2013

Aunt Cindy, Wendy and Bill. I am Sorry for Our loss. I enjoyed when Uncle Ray came to Jamestown to visit, he was a joy to talk to.

Marisa Ovadias

April 1, 2013

Wendy - you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. With deepest sympathy, Your Verizon Family

April 1, 2013

So sorry to here of his passing.

Phyllis McKenzie
NOVA Chorus

Cynthia Young

March 31, 2013

God bless you, Ray! It was so much fun singing with you! You were always smiling, optimistic, and happy...we miss you.

Darlene McIntyre

March 30, 2013

It does not seem real yet that I will not get a phone call or an unexpected drop in from my big brother. I have loved you for years and will miss you. However I look forward to our time together with our Lord. Even thought I will not be there in person for your funeral, know my thoughts and prayers continue to be with your great wife and family.