Apr 20 – Celebration of Life for Everett Kaukonen

Everett Kaukonen, age 93, passed away on January 24, surrounded by his family after a short illness. A funeral will be held at Miramar National Cemetery, 5795 Nobel Dr. San Diego on Monday, April 20 at 11:30 am and a Celebration of Life will be held at the La Jolla Community Center, 6811 La Jolla Blvd. at 12:30 pm. Born in 1926 in Walkerton, Pennsylvania, Everett grew up on a dairy farm speaking Finnish and attending a one-room school. He served in WWII in the First Cavalry Division in the Occupation of Japan. After the War he attended Penn State on the GI Bill and earned his master’s degree in Geophysics. Standard Oil sent him to Venezuela where he met the love of his life, Anne-Marie, who had come from Belgium to visit her brother who was also a geophysicist. They married in Maracaibo, Venezuela and made lifetime friends. In 1961 Everett joined General Dynamics and spent the rest of his career in guidance analysis of rocket launches. He retired in 1991 and continued to enjoy …

When Clubmember Everett Kaukonen Integrated the Cape

Pictured: Anne Marie and Everett Kaukonen together with Nancy & Stewart Witt at the 2015 Roosevelt Dinner In 1963, a major San Diego employer was General Dynamics Astronautics, with the primary facility located in Kearny Mesa along the eastern side of Highway 163. The product was the Atlas rocket, a vehicle with two missions of vital importance: to US military (ICBM –Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) and space operations (Project Mercury, which launched the first U.S. astronauts). Many employees moved to Serra Mesa as it made for a very short commute to the plant (in fact, the Serra Mesa west side was built to provide convenient housing for General Dynamics employees). Florida’s Cape Canaveral (later name changed to Cape Kennedy) was a hotbed of activity as it was the U.S. primary rocket launching facility. Engineers, technicians and scientists from all around the nation regularly converged there to provide the many services needed for successful operations. Teams from General Dynamics Astro made frequent journeys from San Diego to support Atlas launches. One of those was the Guidance and Trajectory group …