Obituary Listings

Byron Robert Spain, Jr.

April 4, 1939 June 3, 2018
Byron Robert Spain, Jr.
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Obituary for Byron Robert Spain, Jr.

Byron Robert Spain, Jr. was born April 4, 1939 in Sugar Land, Texas to Verta Mae and Byron Robert Spain, Sr. In his early years, he grew up in the small row houses of the Phillips Petroleum Oil camps. Byron’s love of hunting and fishing was passed down by his Grandfather Spain, who spent a lot of time teaching him to bait a hook and fire a gun.
In high school, he participated in football as a second-string quarterback until he was injured in a game. He went on to be the team’s photographer, taking pictures and filming plays. One of Byron’s proudest moments was when he achieved his Eagle Scout Badge. He was fascinated by birds, and spent many hours researching and memorizing wing beat recognition and migration habits of the native species. Byron graduated from Sweeny High School in 1957 and went on to Wharton County Junior College on a golf scholarship.
Byron transferred to Lamar State College of Technology and was inducted March 9, 1958 into the honor society, Phi Theta Kappa Fraternity. Byron met the love of his life, Gwendolyn Sue Mays at a dance at Lamar college, where she also attended. After a short romance, they were wed March 5th, 1960. On January 18,1961 they welcomed their first daughter, Karen Jo. Shortly after that, Byron graduated with a 4.0 and a degree in physics, January 27, 1961.
While raising a family and working for Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in Jupiter, Florida, Byron and Gwendolyn had their second child, Catherine Sue, born December 5, 1962. Byron completed his Master of Engineering Degree from the University of Florida, August 14, 1968. Byron’s career took him to Houston, Texas, where he worked and consulted for the Boeing company. He specialized in vibrations and structural integrity which gave Byron the opportunity to work and collaborate on most of NASA’s Apollo Missions.
Byron received many awards and accolades for his part in NASA’s aerospace programs. He was instrumental in the successful return of the Apollo 13 crew, which resulted in a personal visit from President Nixon. January 23, 1970, Byron received his Registered Texas Professional Engineering License.
Byron’s career took the family to Seattle, Washington in the summer of 1974 where he worked in research and development, which resulted in many patents (one of which contributed to the flight data recorders used in today’s aircrafts), as well as the honor, “Inventor of the Year,” three times.
After a long and successful career, Byron retired from the Boeing company in the 1990’s. He will be remembered as a novelist, wildlife specialist and enthusiast, entrepreneur, gifted craftsman of musical instruments, story teller, and master of all things.
Byron is survived by his wife of 58 years, Gwendolyn Spain; daughters Karen Compton and Catherine Spain; six grandchildren: Janette Ryser, Michael Gilliam, Mandy Hohenberger, Kyle Gilliam, Colby McCune, and Jacob Latta; sisters: Marsha Spain Bell and Lisa Spain Price; and seven great grandchildren: Ava, Owen, Kason, Arrow, Violet, River, and Aria.

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Memorial Service




2:00 PM 6/8/2018 2:00:00 PM
Belleori Homestead

35 Old San Antonio Road
Boerne, TX 78006

Belleori Homestead
35 Old San Antonio Road Boerne 78006 TX
United States

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