Monday, May 24, 2010

Dr. Charles Justin Swigert - a.k.a. "Dad"

So no, this is not a picture of my Dad... as you may know, it is Albert Einstein. I do, thankfully have pictures of my Father, but none electronically accessible at the moment. And I think Mr. Einstein is a fair representation of my Dad's heart and mind. Fun-loving, brilliant, and a bit eccentric! Dad always thought if it weren't for the family he would have turned into a mad scientist, and we never doubted it a bit!

After my last post, I thought I'd include a copy of what my girlfriend read from Dad's Memorial Service Bulletin. He was pretty impressive, and I'm really proud of him. Though my children will never get to meet him, I still want them to know him.

Dr. Charles Justin Swigert

"C.J. was clearly destined for a scientist's life ever since he built his own wind tunnel in the family basement. Graduating from Evanston Township High School in the top 10 percent of his class, C.J. continued his education at Princeton University. He graduate Cum Laude in Electrical Engineering in 1961, after which he earned his M.A. degree in Aeronautical Engineering (with a minor in Linguistics) from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in Biomedical/Electronic Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley.

C.J. lectured at Berkeley for several years before entering the private sector as a research scientist and became one of the architects of the govenment Star Wars strategy and technology. In addition to working on government contracts, he also worked out of his home office after moving to the Palisades in 1975. As president of Electromag, he held several patents for his inventions.

C.J. was active in the community, volunteering his time to work with his son Justin's Boy Scout troop and his daughter Laurel's Indian Princess tribe. He worked closely with potential Eagle candidates from Troop 223, seeing them through the complicated process of obtaining the highest rank in scouting. He and the other Indian Princess fathers became such good friends they continued their meetings long after the girls were too old to participate in the program. When his children were younger, C.J. was active at Palisades Elementary School, serving as PEP board President and was a driving force behind the implementation of the school's first computer class.

In addition to his loving wife, Karen, C.J. is survived by his two children, Justin (a senior at UC Santa Barbara) and Laurel (who attends Wheaton College in Illinois); his mother, Marjorie Helm Swigert; his brother, Thomas (wife Sue); and his sister, Margaretta. He was preceded in death by his faterh, Dr. Verne Swigert, and his brother, Stevenson."

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