Thomas S. Walton
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Thomas S. Walton
  • January 4, 1934 - February 8, 2017
  • Merritt Island, Florida

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Wylie-Baxley Funeral Home

1360 N Courtenay Pkwy
Merritt Island, FL 32953
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Thomas Scott Walton
Merritt Island, FL

Thomas S. Walton, 83, passed away on Feb. 8, 2017. Tom was born to Marvin Scott and Cynthia Susan Beck Walton of Clewiston, FL on Jan 4, 1934. Following graduation from Clewiston HS in 1952, he served honorably in the US Marine Corps, then enrolled in the Univ. of FL, receiving a degree in Electronic Engineering in 1960. During college, he married his wife of 60 years, the former Glenda Poole of Belle Glade, who survives him. He is also survived by son T. Scott Walton (Stacey) and three grandsons, Zachary Scott, Ryan and Jacob; brothers, Mitchell Harrell and Gerald (LaJean) Walton; and many nieces and nephews.
Following graduation from UF, Tom began his NASA career at Langley Research Center, VA in 1961 in the computer systems area. In a matter of weeks, he convinced NASA to transfer him to the Cape Canaveral Launch Operations Center (now Kennedy Space Center), thereby returning to his beloved FL and family fishing/hunting camp. At KSC, Tom served as a key member of the launch site team throughout the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Programs. He played a critical role in evolving digital checkout technology into Acceptance Checkout Equipment (ACE) utilized throughout the Apollo launch era. At the advent of the Shuttle Program, Tom was a lead project manager in design and implementation of the Launch Processing System (LPS) that supported launches throughout the Shuttle era. When retiring in 1984, Tom was KSC's Director of Cargo Operations with launch site support responsibility for both Shuttle Payloads and Expendable Launch Vehicles and their payloads. Tom received numerous awards over his career including the 1st annual KSC Center Director's Award for his Shuttle LPS contributions. He was also recognized with a Pioneer in Space Award by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC).
Visitation will be held at Wylie-Baxley Funeral Home in Merritt Island on Saturday, Feb 18 at 2pm with a Celebration of Life to follow at 3pm