research, brilliant new ideas, and the energetic consolidation and expansion of the center’s unique specialties.
Sy enjoyed a distinguished 35-year career at Ames, retiring in January 1984. In retirement he focused on educating the next generation of space explorers. He served as consulting professor at Stanford University and served on the boards of the National Space Club, the West Valley–Mission Colleges District, the California History Center at De Anza College, and United Way of Santa Clara County. Sy earned many awards for his service to NASA and to space exploration. He was elected a fellow of both the AIAA and the American Astronautical Society. He earned NASA’s highest award—the Distinguished Service Medal—in 1984 and is a member of the NASA Ames Hall of Fame. His contributions to both aeronautical science and building Ames still resonate long after his departure. Those of us who were fortunate to work for him remember Sy as a great technical leader and an even better human being.
Sy died on September 13, 2010. His first wife, Helen, died in 1981, and he is survived by his wife JoAnn and his daughters Marguerite and Lynn Ann.