OBITUARY

Raymond Gerald Zedekar

September 7, 1933October 8, 2020

Raymond Gerald Zedekar Sr, 87 of Charlottesville, VA went to be with The Lord Thursday October 8 at home with his family around him. Raymond was born September 7, 1933 in South Haven, Michigan to the late Marion Raymond Zedekar and the late Rene’ Saaf Zedekar.

Raymond graduated from The University of Virginia in Aerospace Engineering. He married his sweetheart Shelby Ann Woodson of Charlottesville. He served three years in the US Air Force as a fighter jet pilot. After his military service he worked at Langley and moved to Houston, Texas with NASA. He arrived 2 weeks before the original 7 astronauts arrived to begin their training.

He was responsible for extravehicular activity and lunar surface exploration for Apollo. Afterwards he was director of shuttle payload integration.

After retiring he and Shelby divided their time between Houston and Charlottesville.

Ray was a family man and took great pride in his daughter and son and their families. He was married to Shelby for 64 years. He is survived by his daughter Joan Rene Cates and her husband Mike Cates of Faber, and son Raymond Gerald Zedekar Jr and his wife Joann Zedekar of Ruckersville and

numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was a wonderful man, husband, dad and grandfather

He loved the Lord.

Services

  • Funeral Service

    Monday, October 12, 2020

Memories

Raymond Gerald Zedekar

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John Painter

October 15, 2020

As I remember after 58 years, it was Ray who, one morning, walked into NASA Houston's rented Rich Building, looking for a volunteer to teach radio to the second astronaut class. I accepted Ray's invitation and taught the class in the Fall of 1962. I then taught the third astronaut class, also, in 1964. It was Ray who opened up my NASA future and my later future as a teacher at Texas A&M. I am certain I will see Ray upstairs, later, to thank him.

Lou Ramon

October 14, 2020

I was privileged to work for and with Ray early in my career at NASA as he and his team developed the techniques for Extravehicular Activity for both Gemini and Apollo programs and as he led the lunar surface operational techniques development for Apollo, particularly for Apollo 11. Ray played a vital part in humankind's first exploration of the moon. Hopefully, it will not be the only exploration of another world. He was a good friend, boss and mentor to me. I owe him a debt of gratitude.... Thank you, Ray. May you Rest in Peace and your family rejoice in having been able to have you as a husband, father and grandfather.

Jan Sateren

October 14, 2020

Uncle Ray was a beautiful person and a guiding light in hard times. He always had a joyous disposition and a helping hand when needed. All his nieces and nephews thought he was the greatest!!!
I will truly miss him!!

Al Conde

October 14, 2020

When thinking of Apollo era engineer role models, I think of Ray, he was a smart, modest, calm and collected professional that served our country well. He hired me into civil service for which I will always be grateful. May our Lord bring the Zedekar family comfort and healing during this time of loss.

Donna Fendell

October 14, 2020

I worked with him for many years. He was a true professional and friend.

Fred Haise

October 14, 2020

Sorry to hear of Ray's passing. I was blessed with lots of his time supporting me and crews preparing for several Apollo Lunar Flights. There was lots of schedule pressure that Ray weathered to assure we kept on track with our training that really paid off on Apollo 13!

JOHN OLOUGHLIN

October 14, 2020

RAY WAS ONE OF THE FINEST PERSONS I HAVE EVER MET. WE WORKED TOGETHER FOR MANY YEARS AND HE WAS CONSIDERED A GOOD AND DEDICATED ENGINEER BY HIS PEERS DEALING WITH PAYLOAD INTEGRATION FOR NASA/JSC. DURING THAT TIME I DON'T BELIEVE I EVER SAW HIM GET UP SET ABOUT ANYTHING AS HE ALWAYS KEPT HIS COOL AND WAS VERY PRAGMATIC ABOUT HIS WORK EFFORT. I WAS VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE BEEN HIS FRIEND OVER THOSE YEARS. REST IN PEACE RAY AND GOD BLESS YOUR FAMILY AS THEY WILL CERTAINLY MISS YOU AS I WILL.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

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