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Gee, Larry (1951-) | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Name: Gee, Larry (1951-)

Historical Note:

Born April 18, 1951, in Klamath Falls, Oregon, Larry is the third of seven children (four sons and three daughters) of Jeannie Sun Chan and Tommy Won Gee.  His mother and father were both born in Toishan, Southern China, emigrated from China to America and became naturalized citizens of the United States.  Larry and his six siblings were all born in the United States.  All seven Gee children are graduates of Purdue University.  Larry completed both a B.S. Mechanical Engineering 1975 and M.S. Engineering 1984 at Purdue; in addition, he completed an M.B.A. 1989 from California Lutheran University.

Larry lived in Logansport, Indiana, from the ages of four through eighteen where he graduated from Logansport High School in 1969.  Upon his graduation from Purdue University, his first job as an engineer was that of a Maintenance Engineer/Power Engineer with PPG in New Martinsville, West Virginia.  Larry went on to hold engineering positions with Delco Electronics/GM, Kokomo, Indiana, as a Machine Design Engineer; Detroit Diesel Allison Transmission, Indianapolis, Indiana, as a Production Engineer and Biosound, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana, as a Senior Manufacturing Engineer.

In 1985 Larry was contacted by a California firm, Cilco, Inc., due to his work in the ultrasonic imaging field.  This led to his engineering career in California as he accepted a position as a Project Engineer with Cilco, Inc., Pomona, California.  He later worked as a Manufacturing Engineer with Viking Connectors, Chatsworth, California, and Senior Manufacturing Engineer with DDC Pertec, Chatsworth, California.  Larry joined Rocketdyne (Rockwell International, later Boeing Corporation then United Technologies Corporation), Canoga Park, California, in 1988 as a Senior Quality Engineer where he began working in the aerospace industry.  It was here that he participated in programs such as the Space Shuttle Main Engine Turbopumps, International Space Station, Atlas and Delta rocket engines, RS-68 and J-2X pre-production rockets, as well as THAAD (anti-missile program).  He later worked at Boeing Corporation in Long Beach, California, on the C-17 Globemaster III (“Jumbo Jet”).  Larry participated in more than 100 successful rocket launches, including over 50 Space Shuttle launches, during his career but is particularly fond of the Space Shuttle Endeavour.  He initially toured the Palmdale facility in 1991 where the Endeavour was being built.  In 2012 Larry watched the Endeavour, now retired from the fleet, being flown into Los Angeles on top of a specially fitted Boeing 747, and again followed its final historic journey through the streets of Los Angeles to the California Science Center where it is now on exhibit.  Larry retired in 2006 from United Technologies Corporation and in 2007 from Boeing Corporation.

Larry and his wife Susan B. Sutphin live in Simi Valley, California, a community northwest of Los Angeles.  They are avid travelers and have visited all seven continents.

Sources: As told by Larry Gee, March 20, 2013.

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