Gene William Frye, 70, of Las Cruces suffered a stroke and passed away suddenly January 13, 2006. Gene was born December 21, 1935 in York, Pennsylvania. He served four years in the Navy and then moved to New Mexico in 1962, having fallen in love with the area and its open spaces on a visit with his brother. In 1965, after earning a BS degree in Engineering from NMSU, he joined NASA...

Gene William Frye, 70, of Las Cruces suffered a stroke and passed away suddenly January 13, 2006. Gene was born December 21, 1935 in York, Pennsylvania. He served four years in the Navy and then moved to New Mexico in 1962, having fallen in love with the area and its open spaces on a visit with his brother. In 1965, after earning a BS degree in Engineering from NMSU, he joined NASA as one of the agency's first aerospace engineers, developing many programs still in use today. While at NASA he was involved with the Mercury and Apollo space programs and with the Viking Mars Lander. In recognition of his dedicated service to the space program, he earned numerous awards, including the Astronaut's Personal Achievement Award, the Silver Snoopy, with which he was honored a rare two times. In 1981, he transferred to the High Energy Laser Test Facility, where he served as Chief of Systems Operations. In 1992, after a very enjoyable two-week retirement, Gene returned to NASA, working for several NASA contractors. He retired permanently in 2001 and spent his retirement years traveling with Kaye, his wife of 41 years, visiting his children, and volunteering for the Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary, to which he dedicated countless hours of service. Gene was known by his family and friends to be a very honest, generous, and kindhearted person. Among his many loves were hunting, fishing, reading, and spending time in the desert. He was a curious man by nature and never tired of learning. Gene was also a patient teacher, willing to pass on his knowledge to any eager student. He was truly an engineer at heart, able to repair, improve, or design just about anything. Gene is survived by his wife, Kaye Eckert Frye; two daughters, Kellie Frye of Alexandria, VA and Kimberly Frye of Arlington, VA; and a son and daughter-in-law, Christian and Stacie Frye of Houston, TX. Services will be held at St. Paul's United Methodist Church Wednesday, January 18 at 11:00am. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary of 144 Wyatt Drive Las Cruces 88005. PDF Printable Version

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