The University Record, December 7, 1998

Obituaries

 

Laurence E. Fogarty

Laurence Eugene Fogarty, retired professor of aerospace engineering, died Nov. 6. He was 78.

Fogarty, recognized as one of the world’s experts on flight simulation, received an off-campus assignment in 1977 to assist in the development of the A-10 and F-16 flight simulators. His consulting work for Link Aviation (1959–70) resulted in the mathematical models for the Gemini, Apollo and LEM space mission simulators. One of these training devices was instrumental in the safe return of Apollo 13.

Fogarty joined the Department of Aerospace Engineering in 1960. In 1961–65, he served as vice president of Applied Dynamics Inc., where he helped establish the company as a leading manufacturer of hybrid (combined analog-digital) computers. He returned to the University in 1965 and was appointed professor and director of the simulation center in 1968. He retired in 1980.

Fogarty received a B.S.E. in electrical engineering from Montana State College in 1940 and a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from Cornell University in 1950.

He is survived by his wife, Wilma; sons, Michael and Brian; grandchildren, Jennie and Michael; sister, Rose; and brother, Jeremy.

Edgar J. Lesher

Edgar J. Lesher, professor emeritus of aerospace engineering, died of natural causes in his Ann Arbor home, May 19. He was 83.

Lesher was internationally known for his flights in “Teal,” his self-made airplane. He made eight record-setting flights in the period 1967–76. Lesher’s flights earned him the Federation Aviation Aeronautique’s Louis Bleriot Medal four times for major contributions to aviation.

Lesher’s teaching repertoire at the University involved courses in all aspects of aircraft, but his greatest impact on aeronautical engineering education was through his widely known airplane design courses. “Practicing what he preached,” he designed and built two airplanes in departmental laboratories.

Born July 31, 1914, in Detroit, Lesher earned a bachelor’s in mathematics from Ohio State University and a master’s in aeronautical engineering from the U-M. He joined the U-M faculty in 1942, after teaching at Texas A & M.

Lesher and surviving wife, Margaret, had 10 children, including four sets of twins. Edgar was preceded in death by his newborn daughter, Gretchen, in 1955. Surviving children are Ted of Atwater, Calif.; Karen Keys, of Berkeley, Calif.; Roger of Saline; Nancy Smith of Garland, Tex.; Sarah Alfonso of Dallas, Tex.; Deborah McNamara of Brighton; Megan Lesher of Story, Wyo.; Daniel of Chicago, Ill.; and Valerie Lesher of Ann Arbor. Also surviving are sister, Helen Williams, Sands Point, N.Y., and brother, Tom, Logansport, Ind. He leaves 16 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Donald M. D. Thurber

Donald M. D. Thurber, Regent emeritus, died in his Grosse Pointe home Nov. 21. He was 80.

Thurber was appointed a Regent in 1958 and served through 1963. A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University, he looked upon community activism as his civic duty. “As stewards and teachers of stewardship, of the richest treasures of the material world,” Thurber said, “we must be attuned to the excellent ideal, the long-range goal, the preservation of irreplaceable values.”

After his time as Regent, President John F. Kennedy personally asked Thurber to study a more effective means of attracting private-sector support for conservation. Thurber formed the National Park Trust Fund and the National Park Foundation, both of which became congressionally chartered partners of the National Park Service.

Thurber was a public relations executive and professional fund-raiser. Nationally, he served as executive assistant to U.S. Sen. Blair Moody, D-Mich.; as a consultant to Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall and to the director of the National Park Service; and as an adviser to Secretary of Commerce Elliot Richardson.

Thurber is survived by his wife, Margaret; three nieces, Elizabeth Jewett, Claudia Snyder and Alice Schultes; and one nephew, Tom Gage.

 


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