Waldon Bollinger Obituary
 
In Memory of

Waldon Pearson Bollinger

February 18, 1918 - July 3, 2013
Obituary

Waldon Pearson Bollinger Feb 18, 1918 – July 3, 2013 Perry was born in Detroit in 1918, the son of Pearl I. and Emerson F. Bollinger. His parents moved to Kansas City, MO in his early childhood. He graduated from the University of Illinois, where he met his future wife, Marion Ahlers. They were married in 1941 and had six children. Perry was an Electrical Engineer and accomplished a great many things during his career; he was instrumental in the early development of radar during and after World War II. He spent many years involved in the development of missile and surface radar systems and missile guidance systems for both military...
Waldon Pearson Bollinger
Feb 18, 1918 – July 3, 2013

Perry was born in Detroit in 1918, the son of Pearl I. and Emerson F. Bollinger. His parents moved to Kansas City, MO in his early childhood.
He graduated from the University of Illinois, where he met his future wife, Marion Ahlers. They were married in 1941 and had six children.
Perry was an Electrical Engineer and accomplished a great many things during his career; he was instrumental in the early development of radar during and after World War II. He spent many years involved in the development of missile and surface radar systems and missile guidance systems for both military and civilian applications. He also did some pioneering work in microwave transmission and waveguide systems and held patents on several electronics circuitry and hardware applications. His career included work in control systems for mass transit, "black box" flight data recorders and cockpit monitoring systems for aircraft, early development of television and numerous radio systems. Marion used to enjoy telling how Perry built one of the first home television systems in their home in the late 40's. It was spread over two card tables, a mass of wires and tubes and folks from the neighborhood would stop on the sidewalk to peer in the window at the TV tube displaying a test pattern, which was mostly what was broadcast in those early days.
Perry loved their vacation home in Surf City, NJ, where he enjoyed boating, fishing, crabbing in Barnegat Bay and times with family and friends. He had many skills, including woodworking, auto repair, electrical installation and repair, carpentry and general handiwork. There was rarely any need to call a repairman when something needed to be fixed in the Bollinger home! Perry created family (or "rec") rooms in virtually every home he owned, he largely built a house and garage in Haddonfield, NJ and built a house-sized garage behind the vacation home in Surf City. During all of these projects he always taught one or several of his kids how to do the tasks he was performing.
Perry advanced in his career many times over the years and as a result, moved his family quite a few times, but always with the promise of a better way of life.
1940 --1950 RCA, Camden, NJ -- Group Leader, design of military electronic equipment
1950 -- Bendix Missile Division, South Bend, IN -- Director of Engineering, TALOS missile system
1958 -- RCA, Moorestown, NJ -- Project Manager, radar and guided missile systems
1960 -- Philco, Philadelphia, PA -- Director of Engineering, guided missiles and secure communication equipment
1963 -- Union Switch and Signal, Pittsburgh, PA -- Director of Engineering, train control systems
1965 -- Westinghouse Transportation Systems, Pittsburgh, PA -- General Manager, transportation systems, SEATAC Link Light Rail
1975 -- Sundstrand Data Control, Redmond, WA -- Director of Engineering, airborne electronics, (black box) crash data recorders, flight management systems and other electronic equipment
1979 -- Data Lab, Lacey, WA -- owned business doing customized computer programming

During all of this, Perry managed to teach five children how to drive an automobile without suffering a massive heart attack himself. The chant of, "Too little gas, too much clutch!" will echo through the heads of his kids forever.
After fifteen years in Bellevue, WA, he and Marion finally settled at the retirement community, Panorama, in Lacey, WA where they enjoyed many years of retirement.
Perry is survived by four daughters, Ann Wexler of MD, Joan Benzie of MI, Marcia Bollinger of IA and Mary Lynn Birney of WA and one son, Robert Bollinger of OR, fourteen grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Marion, his daughter Patty, and his grandson Mark.
Perry will be greatly missed by his family and friends and most notably by his special friend of many years, Mrs. Catherine (Cay) Thomas of Panorama, with whom he shared many gracious meals and good conversations.
Services were private per Perry's request. Memorial donations can be made to the Panorama Benevolent Fund, 1751 Circle Lane SE, Lacey, WA 98503

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