Argyle G. Lautzenhiser, 99, of Waterloo, Indiana, died at Miller’s Merry Manor, Garrett, Indiana, June 3, 2018.
He was born April 14, 1919, at the family home in Hamilton, Indiana, to Dora and Arthur Lautzenhiser, and was preceded in death by his brother Lloyd Lautzenhiser and sisters Ardys Lautzenhiser and Twila Mae Shultz.
On August 15, 1941, he married Alice Evelyn Miller, of Butler, Indiana, who preceded him in death on April 8, 2001. They had six children, all surviving: Theodore Lautzenhiser, Tulsa, Oklahoma; LeBrun Frye, Auburn, Indiana; Renee Lautzenhiser, Waterloo, Indiana; daughter and son-in-law Shelley and Michael Parson, Waterloo, Indiana; Jan Matthew and daughter-in-law Penelope Lautzenhiser, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Frans Lautzenhiser and daughter-in-law Lynne Lautzenhiser, Zionsville, Indiana. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and six greatgrandchildren.
A World War II veteran, he joined the Navy in April 1944 and served as a line officer aboard a minesweeper off the Aleutian Islands.
Graduating from Tri-State College in 1940, he was hired by General Motors. As an electrical engineer, he changed his focus from cars to space exploration. Among his many patents he holds the patent for the accelerometer, still in use, designed for the system guiding Apollo to the moon. That career caused the growing family to move from Anderson, Indiana, to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Cape Ann, Massachusetts, the site of a newly-built space research center in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Wherever the family lived, Alice and Argyle were active in the Disciples of Christ churches they attended, where they both taught Sunday School and he served decades as an elder.
Argyle was elected to the Gloucester, Massachusetts, city council for two terms, 1968-1971. Quoted in the “Gloucester Daily Times,” I am an engineer with 27 years of experience. I dream of better ways to do things. But even more, I translate these dreams into reality.” His passion was to bring an oceanographic center to Gloucester and he was instrumental in the city setting aside the land. In 2011 the Gloucester Marine Research Station opened, an alliance with the University of Massachusetts and the Fish and Game’s Division of Marine Fisheries, fulfilling his biggest wish for the city.
Argyle and Alice chose to return to DeKalb County in 1977, as they wished to be physically near their aging parents. They had been gifted family land, where they built Bittersweet, which has become the heart and center of the extended family. Argyle played bridge, horseshoes, golf and Scrabble with skill and zeal into his 90s. He taught his children from early ages to play with him, ensuring enough participants that at Bittersweet family gatherings there was a lot of spirited playing for the “grand championship,” a phrase now rich with memories and laughter.
A graveside service for family will be held Saturday, June 23, to be followed by a memorial luncheon for family and friends beginning at 12:00 noon at Holy Family Episcopal Church, 909 South Darling Street, Angola, Indiana with The Reverend Tom Adamson officiating.
Local arrangements are under the care of Oberlin-Turnbull Funeral Home, Hamilton, Indiana.
Messages of condolence may be left and detailed information on the graveside service and memorial luncheon found on their website, www.oberlinturnbull.com.