Obituary of Reid B. Lyford, Jr. |

Obituary of Reid B. Lyford, Jr.

Reid Lyford Jr.

Reid B Lyford, a resident of Grass Valley, passed away peacefully on July 21, 2015 at Spring Hill Manor after a lengthy illness. He was 94.

Reid was born July 6, 1921 to Reid B. and Lilly (Wagner) Lyford in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Reid graduated from Iowa State University in 1943 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and from the University of Kansas in 1948 with a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering. He met Betty Lo Parsons at KU and they were married on June 17, 1947.

Reid was an assistant professor of aeronautical engineering at KU. He also worked for North American Rockwell in Kansas City from 1943-1945 and in Los Angeles beginning in 1950, where they raised five children. In 1973, Reid transferred to the Rockwell Space Division in Downey.

During his long aeronautical engineering career, Reid worked on many aircraft design projects including the B-25, P-51, X-15, Saberliner, F-14, B-1, and the Space Shuttle, to name a few.

Reid was also the chief engineer on the separation mode design for the Space Shuttle.

In 1982, Reid retired and in 1985 they moved to Lake Wildwood in Penn Valley. During retirement Reid and Betty enjoyed golf, bridge, travel, and visiting family.

Reid is survived by his wife; three sons, Gordon and wife Nancy of O’Brien, Oregon, Keith and wife Cindy of Roseville, and Kirk and wife Lisa of Penn Valley; two daughters, Beth and husband Bruce Christie of Claremont, and Kathy of Los Angeles; brother Wayne and wife Dorothy of Brookings, South Dakota; five granddaughters; one step-grandson; and one great-granddaughter.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User