Lance Walton

Profile Updated: February 5, 2015
Lance Walton
Residing In Titusville, FL USA
Spouse/Partner Sue
Occupation Semi-Retired Engineer
Children Devin, born 1968
Lisa, born 1970
Military Service United States Marine Corps  
Lance Walton

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Yes! Attending Reunion
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After graduating from East High I attended the University from 1965 to 1966. Attended is about all I did. As a result my draft classification was changed from 1-S to 1-A. When I questioned the draft board they informed me that I was not a student, not according to my GPA. I further assisted in their assessment by not attending anymore classes. I, however, had not withdrawn from any classes and as a result my GPA at the end of that quarter was an amazing 0.84. I received my draft notice in early September 1966. I explored various options and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps with the “promise” that I would be given an assignment in the air wing. I left for boot camp on September 12, 1966.

After boot camp I attended the Aircraft Electrician’s “A” school at NAS Jacksonville, Florida. My assignment after school was at El Toro MCAS in Santa Ana, California. Our squadron deployed to DaNang, South Vietnam in August of 1968. We transferred from DaNang to Chu Lai in 1969 and later to Iwakuni, Japan that same year. While I was in Japan I become infatuated with the culture. I was honorably discharged from the USMC in August 1970 with the rank of Corporal E-4.

I then re-entered the University of Utah and immediately repeated all of the courses I had done so badly at in 1965/66. I was able to replace all of the grades with a new grade of “A” or “B”. Initially I had intended to obtain a six-year Master’s degree in Architecture. That program called for the applicant to complete a baccalaureate degree in any discipline while completing a core curriculum of courses to prepare for the graduate program. I completed my degree and started the graduate program in 1975. At the completion of the first year of the graduate program and consultation with the faculty I decided to leave the program. There is more involved in this decision but I will not cover that here.

I then went to work for Thompson Engineering in Rigby, Idaho in 1976 where I worked on designing subdivisions and working on various projects concerned with the recovery after the Teton dam collapse.

When a better opportunity presented itself I went to work for Argonne Laboratories at the Idaho National Engineering Lab Site near Idaho Falls, Idaho. While there I worked on various projects supporting the Experimental Breeder Reactor II project. In 1981 the Department of Energy funds were severely cut. As a result there were layoffs from the EBR-II program so I began working for EG&G Services in Idaho Falls, Idaho working on design of a Space Shuttle Launch Facility at Vandenberg Air Force, California. In 1983 EG&G Services sent me and four others to provide contract surveillance during construction of the Shuttle Launch Pad.

In 1984 I began working for Lockheed Space Operations Company, the Space Shuttle Processing Company, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
In 1987, after the Challenger accident, the Air Force abandoned the Shuttle project and I was selected as one of the Engineers to be transitioned to Kennedy Space Center, Florida. This was after the investigation of the Challenger accident and the subsequent re-staffing for return to flight.

Lockheed and Martin Marietta later merged and became Lockheed Martin and the company I worked for became Lockheed Martin Space Operations Contract (LMSOC). Other aerospace entities were also merged into LMSOC.
In 1996 LMSOC was split off of Lockheed Martin and become United Space Alliance (USA). I continued working for USA until the reduction of force due to the ending of the Space Shuttle program in 2011.

From September of 2011 until June of 2012 I worked for Nelson Engineering of Merritt Island, Florida. My work consisted of field work involving data acquisition of electrical equipment for use in Arc Flash analysis. The specific contract called for surveying electrical equipment in buildings belonging to the Government Services Administration located in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota.

In April 1 of 2013 I "officially" retired.

In May of 2014 I received a phone call from a friend stating that he was having a beer with a couple of mutual friends the night before and they wondered if I would be willing to return to work in order to help out with a problem they were having. The work load on the new Orion/SLS space program had increased dramatically and they were having difficulty designing and releasing engineering for ground support cabling. Initially I declined then thought about it. Working on a manned flight space program is such a high that the thought of doing so again was more than intriguing. I changed my mind, submitted the requisite resume, went to an obligatory interview, received an offer, countered and accepted the subsequent counter offer from the company. Since September 2 of 2014 I have been working on that program. One of those two mutual friends became my manager and the other is my NASA counterpart.

While all of the above was happening I met a wonderful women from South Korea named Sue. She was attending the University of Utah and I was introduced by a mutual friend. After a slow start we become very close. My position in Idaho came about when Sue accepted a position with EG&G in Idaho Falls, Idaho. At that time we became “legit” and got married. We have two great children and three grandchildren.

We found ourselves as “empty nesters” while in our forties. It was then that we started ballroom dancing. Ballroom dancing afforded us a chance to get out and have fun without the complications of joining a club or social group. We both enjoy traveling and have been to China, Europe, British Isles, Caribbean, and many places in the USA. We own a 38 foot motor home and have taken over twenty cruises all over the world.

Our immediate plans are to move to Colorado to be near our son and granddaughter. All we need to do is wait for the housing market to recover. The massive layoffs during the Space Shuttle shutdown hit the market very hard in Central Florida.

I trust that this short treatise has not been overly boring. I am looking forward to attending the reunion and re-connecting with old friends.

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