Walter Henderson Pace Jr, age 78, joined the Lord, God Almighty, in heaven on Saturday, February 23, 2013. Walter and his family are long term residents of the South Belt and Sagemont communities in Houston, Texas. The family moved to the area in 1965 from California when Walter was transferred by TRW to work as an engineer on NASA projects. Walter worked on all of the space programs from the 1959 Mercury Project through the 2003 Space Shuttle flights, including the space station.
Born September 27, 1934 in Texarkana, Arkansas to Walter and Eleanor Pace, he grew up in the small town of Nash. His family moved to New Orleans, Louisiana where Walter attended high school and college. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in Electrical Engineering from Tulane University.
Walter was a true renaissance man. He was knowledgeable about many topics and never stopped learning new things or exploring new ideas and concepts. He was both a scholar and a teacher. He taught classes at the university level for several years of his life, but loved guiding and teaching young children about any topic they showed an interest in. Walter was capable of repairing just about anything mechanical or electrical – appliances, cars, motorcycles, airplane engines, etc. He was an excellent handy man to have around the house. Although he was trained as an engineer, he taught himself about computers as they became of age and participated significantly in the programming of the onboard space flight computers, including the space shuttle. Walter enjoyed flying airplanes and immersed himself in the subject, as he often did with new hobbies, and earned his pilot's license. He also enjoyed sailing, photography, motorcycling, woodworking, bicycling, and camping. His passion for sailing was demonstrated by his commitment to volunteer over 130 maintenance hours and attend a series of 20 weekend sail training sessions to qualify to crew the Elissa, a three-masted, iron-hulled sailing ship built in 1877 docked at the Texas Seaport Museum, Pier 21, Galveston, Texas.
Walter is survived by Gloria, his wife of 50 years; sons – Ron and wife Ramona, Chris, Ted and wife Cristi, John, and Tom; grandchildren – Chelsea LeBlanc, Lee "Dallas" Pace, Alden Pace, Sarah Pace, Mindy Puente, Scott Pace, France Pace, JT Pace; great grandchildren – Greyson Chisholm, Shara Chisholm, Anthony Puente; nephew – Michael Miller; and niece – Janice Keith. Walter is predeceased by Dorothy Miller, his sister.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 2nd at 1:00 PM at Cokesbury United Methodist Church 10030 Scarsdale Blvd. Houston, TX 77089. A reception will follow the memorial service. There will be no graveside services.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in the name of Walter Pace to Cokesbury United Methodist Church 10030 Scarsdale Blvd. Houston, TX 77089. You may make an online donation or get more information here.
Thank you to everyone for their kind words and prayers in this time of grief.