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Larry Niles Lydick

January 11, 1939 - May 30, 2020

Larry Niles Lydick, 81, departed this life to explore and enjoy the great beyond on Saturday, May 30, 2020, at home, due to complications from Parkinson’s disease.

 

Service: A Celebration of His Life will be held at a later date.

 

Memorials: In lieu of flowers, his family respectfully requests…read more

Larry Niles Lydick, 81, departed this life to explore and enjoy the great beyond on Saturday, May 30, 2020, at home, due to complications from Parkinson’s disease.

 

Service: A Celebration of His Life will be held at a later date.

 

Memorials: In lieu of flowers, his family respectfully requests donations in his name to the Parkinson’s Foundation.

 

Larry was born January 11, 1939, in Manhattan, Kansas, to parents, Lawrence and Esther Lydick and big sister, Jo Ann. Larry graduated from Kansas State University in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering. He entered the US Air Force in 1961 and served as an Instructor pilot. He obtained a Master of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Purdue University in 1966.

 

Larry joined General Dynamics in 1969 and served as Chief Engineering Project Manager on the Advanced Fighter Technology Integration (AFTI) 16 Big Wing Program called Falcon Eye. Here, he was not only instrumental in developing, but also promoting utilization of helmet-mounted display night-vision goggles, digital terrain display, and head-steerable FLIR for the F16. The helmet mounted display allowed pilots to fly 200 feet above ground and see everything as if it were daylight. Larry was promoted to Manager of Advanced Design, where he mentored a team of young engineers, and he successfully advocated their promotion to senior positions.

 

In 1989, Larry was the only person in the history of GD/Lockheed to win the prestigious Laurel Award, given to him by Aviation Week and Space Technology Magazine. He was so proud to be invited to present his work to NATO conferences in Den Haag, Edinburgh, and Toulouse. Giving new meaning to the expression, “take your work home with you,” Larry even built a functioning wind tunnel in his garage! In his retirement, he worked and wrote about the question, “What is an Electron?” Given more time, we believe he would’ve won the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Larry loved making model airplanes in his youth, working on and flying his Mooney, hiking in the Nature Center with his loving wife of 39 years, Sandra, flying many trips to favorite destinations, helping his kids, working on physics, enjoying a margarita with some g-salad on the patio at Joe T’s, listening to opera (only the arias!), the tenors, singing along, whistling, making charts and graphs, and snacking his way through the day. He loved his cold beverages cold, and his food piping hot, giving safety tips, supporting his family’s ambitions, and he enjoyed being a generous tipper. He loved to joke and make people laugh.

 

Larry was a deeply ethical person and carried that principle in all areas of his life. He ran out of time too soon. He was a kind soul, a genius and a gentleman.
Larry is deeply loved and missed.

 

He was preceded in death by a son, Stephen Lydick.

 

Survivors: His wife of 39 years, Sandra Jean Williams Lydick; son, Lincoln and wife, Joyce; daughters, Robyn Lydick, Kamala Fritzler, Robin Fritzler; sister, Jo Ann Janney; grandchildren, Roslyn Lydick, Karen Lydick, Arlo Smith; sisters-in-law, Anita McCrary, Sherry French, and many cousins, loving nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and nephews, great grand-nephew, family, and friends.

 

 

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