Frank McGhee Elam

February 18, 1932February 4, 2013

Frank McGhee Elam, son of Frank Haynes Elam and Nan Oriel Victoria McGhee Elam, passed away Feb. 4, 2013 in Clear Lake City, age 80. He was born Feb. 18, 1932 in Ft. Worth, TX. He was 2 weeks away from his 81st birthday. He was preceded in death by his wife, Annabel Beyer (d. May 10, 1993), and his sisters Leila Carol Sanders Cleveland (d. 2010) and Nan Alice Phillips Hamby (d. 2013). Frank was a graduate of the University of Texas with a Master’s of Science degree in petroleum engineering, which he received on June 1, 1957. He married Annabel Beyer one week later on June 8, 1957 in Austin. Frank later received a law degree from the University of Houston, Bates College and was also a patent law attorney. One of his early jobs was at Convair Aircraft, but his main career was in aerospace engineering at NASA, starting around 1964. He worked on the Apollo space program to the moon in the Control Systems Branch perfecting the Little Joe II attitude and motion control unit, and also worked on the guidance system and other aspects of the space shuttle and tracking system data. He retired from NASA about 1994. He knew a lot about the Bible and history, and enjoyed auto mechanics. He is survived by nieces and husbands, Kathy & Mike Clark, Michele & Dave Feuerborn, Brenda and Tom Young, Susan Sanders & Steve Tollefson, and nephew and wife, Jim and Vickie Hamby, and nephew William Sanders, Jr., niece Heather Barrick, and numerous cousins. Visitation will be at Forest Park East, 21620 Gulf Freeway, Saturday, Feb. 9 at 2 PM, followed by a memorial service at 3 PM.


  • Visitation Saturday, February 9, 2013
  • Memorial Service Saturday, February 9, 2013

Frank McGhee Elam

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Mike Meyer

March 6, 2013

I was a neighbor of Frank during the 1960's and early '70s. He was a good neighbor, a kind individual and always had a lot of interesting stories to share.

Mary Meyer Johnson

February 17, 2013

Our family was blessed to have lived across the street from the Elam's for many years in Meadowcreek Village. My mother, Anne Meyer, still lives there. We are so sorry that we were unable to visit with Frank after he moved back into his home. I saw him a few times sitting in his front yard talking on the phone and didn't want to interrupt. Mr. Elam was a brilliant, interesting man and a wonderful neighbor to the Garlin and Anne Meyer family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Frank Weaver

February 9, 2013

Frank was a kind and intelligent man. When he would come by the office (for several years we worked in two different branches of the same engineering division) he had a ready smile and the appearance that he understood the world around him. I am glad to have known Frank. My condolences to his family.

Bill Holton

February 9, 2013

Frank Elam was my Moms cousin and I worked in the same building as him at the NASA, Johnson Space Center Building 16 until he retired in 1994. He helped me with a law issue I had a couple of times. Always had great stories to tell and a wealth of History behind those glasses. A brilliant man.


February 8, 2013


February 8, 2013

I became associated with Frank when I first came to NASA, and we became friends. He was brilliant technically; I admired his expertise. I shall miss him greatly. Tom Beazley, Austin, TX

Ed Kubiak

February 8, 2013

Frank was a good friend and an old colleague of mine at NASA. He generously helped me with his law expertise on several occasions. He had an immense intellect and was fun to be with. I will miss him and the world will miss his incredible wealth of knowledge.

Heather Barrick

February 7, 2013

You were a great & intelligent man. I loved hearing your stories about our family history. I wished I could of talked to you one last time before the Angels carried you off to Heaven.

Bill Sanders

February 7, 2013

Dear Family: Frank Elam was my best friend after I married his sister, Lelia Carol Elam. I admired his intellectualism on most all subjects..he always had the correct answer. He took me to NASA and showed me the Moon Rover Wheel that he invented for the purpose of crawling over the top of a rock on the moon; then, on TV I saw it in action on the moon---Amazing. He will be missed by his loving family and by me. The loss of a friend with a great mind will always be remembered! The Bible teaches us that to be absent from this earthly body is to be present with the Heavenly Father. May God wrap his loving arms around you and your families and grant you the peace that passeth all understanding. God bless all of you!
Bill and Pat Sanders, P.O. Box 157, Louise, TX. 77455