R. Ned Landon
- December 28, 2011
- Niskayuna, New York
of R. Ned's Passing
Ellis Hospital Foundation
1101 Nott Street
Schenectady, NY 12308
First Reformed Church of Schenectady
8 N. Church Street
Schenectady, NY 12305
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R. Ned Landon of 7 Wellington Way, Niskayuna, N.Y., a longtime General Electric communications executive, died December 28 at Ellis Hospital after a brief illness. He was 90 years old.
Roy Ned Landon was born April 4, 1921, in Galesburg, Illinois, the son of Roy S. and Mildred M. Landon. He attended public schools in Galesburg where he earned the Eagle Scout recognition. Mr. Landon graduated from Knox College in 1943. While at Knox he edited both the college yearbook and newspaper, wrote and produced theatre shows and was president of the student council. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and the Phi Beta Kappa society.
As an R.O.T.C student, Landon was inducted into the U.S. Army in June, 1943. He graduated from The Infantry School, Ft. Benning, Georgia, receiving his commission as a Second Lieutenant, Infantry, in December, 1943.
First as a platoon leader, then as a battalion intelligence officer, and finally as a member of the 104th Infantry Division headquarters intelligence section, Lt. Landon saw combat duty in Belgium, Holland and Germany during World War II. He devised and used an innovated system of making aerial photographs from artillery-observation planes and won a Bronze Star, the Bronze Star cluster, an Air Medal, and was promoted to First Lieutenant. In 2003 he collected the letters he wrote home while in the service for his book Dear Folks.
Following discharge from the army in January, 1946, Mr. Landon was employed as director of publicity and alumni relations at Knox College. It was during this time that he met and married Knox student Barbara Miner. He started his own advertising and photography service in 1948, but was recalled by the Army in 1951 during the Korean War, serving in counter-intelligence at Fifth Army headquarters in Chicago.
He returned from active Army duty to work again as an administrator for Knox College. In 1954, he was hired by the then General Electric Research Laboratory (subsequently Research and Development Center, now Global Research Center) in Niskayuna as a public relations specialist. The following year he was named Manager of Public Information and subsequently he became manager of a communications operation responsible for public relations, in-company communications, photography and art services, the laboratory's library, and technical information distribution. Much of his time however, was spent in planning and executing meetings and presentations, and he was a chief speech-writer for many of GE's top executives.
In the early 1960's, Landon became a key GE contact with the Walt Disney Company in developing GE's Carousel of Progress exhibit at the 1964 New York World's Fair. In the 1970's his working relationship with Disney expanded greatly with his help in the design and development of the GE Horizons pavilion at EPCOT Center, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Following his retirement in 1984, Mr. Landon served as a consultant for GE, the Walt Disney Company, AT &T, Nabisco Brands, Asea Brown Boveri , and numerous other industrial organizations. Meanwhile, he contributed communications skills to the work of a variety of civic and charitable endeavors, including Ellis Hospital, Knox College, (for which he sat on the Board of Trustees and wrote the Class of 1943 Alumni notes until 2010), Proctor's Theatre, the Schenectady Museum, The Niskayuna Community Fund, and Girls Inc. He helped create the Girls Incorporated Foundation Trust Schenectady (GIFTS) and as a result a Landon Library at Girls Inc. was established. Ned and Barbara have been members of the Mohawk Golf Club for 55 years. In the mid-1960's Ned started the Mohawk Magazine and served as its editor for many years. The Landons have been members of the First Dutch Reformed Church of Schenectady for four decades. Mr. Landon was a member of the National Association of Science Writers and a Timberwolf. Among his many pastimes, his favorites were playing bridge, his weekly meetings at the Church's New York Times "Week in Review" group, the "Irving Langmuir Group" meeting at Global Research, and their cairn terriers Maggie and Monet. The Landons made their home at 1370 Rowe Road (1960-2011) welcoming and wonderful for their grandchildren and great-grandchildren whom affectionately referred to it as "Camp Mammy and Gramps". All loved the pool where Gramps swam daily for 20 years. During the winters when the pool was closed the Landon's travelled extensively with Ned photographing the world's most beautiful locations.
Mr. Landon was predeceased by his sister Helen L. MacLeod of New London, CT.
Mr. Landon is survived by his wife Barbara Miner Landon. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary August 31, 2011. Also surviving are four daughters Sydney Landon Plum (Terry Plum) of Holyoke, MA; Lucinda Landon (James Egan) of Newport, RI; Lynette Landon Dray (David Dray) of Tucson, AZ; and Sara Landon-Socha (Michael Socha) of Glenville, NY. Their families include ten grandchildren – Trevor Landon Plum (Brandy Vickers) and Hilary Miner Plum (Zach Savich); Alexander Landon Egan and Eric Landon Egan; Noah Landon Dray (Alana Dray), Micah Landon Dray, and Eliza Landon Dray (Ian Kelly); Lizabeth Landon-Cole Sorensen ( Daniel Sorensen), Zoë Landon Socha, and Grace Hannah Socha - four great-grandchildren: Ruby, Elkë and Iver Sorensen; and Edith Kelly.
A memorial service will be held at the Mohawk Golf Club, Niskayuna, NY, Friday December 30th, 2011 at 4:00 pm with a reception to follow.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Ellis Hospital Foundation, Niskayuna Community Fund, or the First Dutch Reformed Church of Schenectady.