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Maj. Leighton Eugene Young

July 7, 2022

Posted 7/20/22

Major Leighton Eugene Young, 87, of Huntsville, Alabama, passed away on Thursday, July 7, 2022. Gene was born in Manchester, Tennessee on August 20, 1934. He was preceded in death his parents Alton …

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Maj. Leighton Eugene Young

July 7, 2022

Posted

Major Leighton Eugene Young, 87, of Huntsville, Alabama, passed away on Thursday, July 7, 2022. Gene was born in Manchester, Tennessee on August 20, 1934. He was preceded in death his parents Alton and Margie (West) Young and a brother, Lee Roy Young.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 68 years Gladys (Jones) Young; their children, Rhonda (Tom) Hogan, Gina (Paul) Walling, Chet (Cathey) Young, and foster son Will Sheffield; 13 grandchildren: 23 great-grandchildren; four sisters, Joyce Dalton, Jewel Barrett, Helen (Reggie) Smith, and Linda (Monty) Young, and one brother, Paul (Bonnie) Young, as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He attended college at Athens State University, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree, a master's degree, and doctoral coursework in physics. He worked as a physicist/aerospace engineer for Marshall Space Flight Center at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama for 35 years. During his tenure at NASA he worked on many projects that laid the groundwork for the International Space Station. He was the principal investigator for the Solar Array Flight Experiment and played a critical role in the development and launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, including Mission Control. He was listed in Volume 6 of International Who’s Who of Intellectuals. Throughout his life and career he received many academic and professional commendations.

He served in the Tennessee Army National Guard for 24 years and achieved the rank of Major. Gene enjoyed genealogy, playing guitar, and Tennessee football.

He was a longtime member and deacon at Mastin Lake Road Church of Christ and more recently became a member of Meridianville Church of Christ.

Services were held at Valhalla Funeral Home on Monday, July 11, with public visitation from 1-3 p.m, and Celebration of Life Service at 3 p.m. with Scotty Sparks and Alvin Alston officiating. Entombment was in the Chapel of Peace Mausoleum at Valhalla Memory Gardens.

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