Dr. Raymond Bernard Gavert

Dr. Raymond Bernard Gavert passed away on March 25, 2013.

In 2006, he retired from NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. He was involved with the Wake Shield and space shuttle materials experimentations in microgravity. He was an enthusiast of space science and exploration.

In retirement he remained active as an author. He wrote “Robots, Colonauts, Moon Clubs and the Strange Lights on the Moon.” This science-fiction novel reflected his American Institute of Physics papers, which discussed lunar colonization, market driven space exploration, and commercial markets in space.

Dr. Gavert was born Sept. 27, 1932, in Jamestown N.Y. He received his Bachelor of Science in metallurgical engineering from Purdue University in 1955 and his Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in 1960 and 1966, respectively, from the University of Wisconsin. He served in the U.S. Army in Korea from 1955-57. From 1957-59 he was a Pratt & Whitney Air-craft metallurgical development engineer. After that he was involved in advanced nuclear systems at the NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. He joined the General Electric Missile and Space Division in King of Prussia, Pa., in 1965 as a spacecraft materials research and development engineer. From 1966-68 he was a materials project engineer for the SNAP 27 radioisotope thermoelectric generator used in the Apollo space program. One of these devices is on display at the Smithsonian. During this period he taught solid state metallurgy at Penn State in King of Prussia. From 1969-75 he worked at GE Corporate in Schenectady, N.Y.

Dr. Gavert was appointed to the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment in 1975 to support U.S. materials policy decisions related to the conservation of materials. He was an early proponent of hybrid vehicle technology. During the 1980s he was involved with SDI “Star Wars” at the Defense Nuclear Agency.

Dr. Gavert is survived by his wife of 53 years, Cynthia F. Gavert; daughter, Wendy E. Gavert; son, William B. and his wife, Evelyn Gavert; grandsons: Christopher Leonowicz and Thomas Gavert; granddaughters: Caitlin Leonowicz, and Olivia and Eva Gavert; sisters: Marilyn G. McElhinny, Onnolee Samuelson and her fiance, Jim Murphy, and Darlene McIntyre and her husband, Brian; and niece, Jill K. Mondo and her husband, Craig.

He was full of life and an avid learner with many interests. He enjoyed acting in plays, learning new languages, skiing, singing and playing piano. He always encouraged his children and grandchildren to pursue their interests. He will be greatly missed.

Funeral arrangements are by Demaine Funeral Home, 520 S. Washington St., Alexandria, Va. Service was held Tuesday at Aldersgate Church, 1301 Collingwood Drive, Alexandria, Va.