Robert Joseph (Joe) Bourne, age 77, passed away on March,
11, 2013, in Cookeville, TN. Joe was born on November 11, 1935 to William
Bourne and Bessie Stanford in Decatur, AL. He grew up in Memphis, TN, and
graduated from Central High School in 1953. An Army veteran, Joe served in
Germany during the Korean Conflict.
After serving in the Army, Joe returned to Tennessee to attend the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He worked as a Design Engineer for a number of technology companies before joining NASA in 1962. He worked on many of the manned spaceflight programs at the Kennedy Space Center including Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, and finally with the Space Shuttle Program. Joe retired from NASA in 1997 as the Director of Vertical Payload Operations on the Shuttle Program. After his retirement Joe returned to his Tennessee roots in moving to Cookeville. He was an avid motorcyclist and sports car enthusiast.
Joe is survived by his wife, Linda Bourne of Cookeville, TN,
and his eldest son Robert Bourne, Jr. of Lancaster, TN. He was preceded in
death by his parents and youngest son, Michael Bourne.
A private memorial service will be held at a later date. The
family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the American