Harvey Strauss, a key engineer for NASA’s revolutionary Apollo missions and the co-founder and President of widely respected Alpha Engineering of Lee County, Inc., passed away Monday, July 19, of lung cancer. Harvey was 93 years old.
Not far from his birthplace in Albany, New York, Harvey began his impressive career with a Civil Engineering degree from Union College in Schenectady, New York. Beginning as a construction field engineer, Harvey oversaw a wide variety of projects, including the Veterans' Administration Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio and the Kaydeross Creek Railroad Bridge in Saratoga Springs, New York.
When the 60s arrived, and the space race intensified, Harvey devoted his talents to aerospace engineering and became Chief Ground Support Equipment (GSE) Structures Engineer for NASA's Lunar Module. To recognize the extraordinary efforts of the Apollo engineering team, a negative including Harvey's signature as an essential contributor, accompanied the astronauts to the moon.
Following his work in the space program, Harvey turned his attention to civil and structural engineering in New England and Florida, where he engineered a vast array of residential, commercial, and industrial projects. In 1988, Harvey and his wife, Alma Caroline, founded Alpha Engineering of Lee County, Inc., which rose quickly to become one of southwest Florida’s most respected engineering firms. Harvey served as President, helping to establish communities and secure structures until his retirement in 2016.
Throughout his life, Harvey enthusiastically pursued a wide variety of pastimes, including fishing, painting, sculpting, and acting. He was an extra in the movie Marooned (1969) and starred in a variety of community theater productions in New England and Florida, including the roles of Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple.
Harvey is survived by his wife, Alma Caroline; his daughter, Susan (Ed David); his sons, Guy (Edith), Ben (Annie), and Jon (Tammy); and grandsons and great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, a contribution to Hope Hospice or the American Cancer Society would be greatly appreciated.
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