Lawrence C. Reed ’63

Lawrence C. Reed

While growing up in Shelby, Larry Reed ’63 delivered the Shelby Daily Globe. He had the largest route with 185 to 198 customers.  He peddled papers from fifth grade to the end of his junior year at SHS.  Through his senior year, Larry worked for Shelby Sales Book Company, later to become Shelby Business Forms. 

For Larry, his years at SHS sparked a lifelong interest and involvement in science and aviation, as a member of both the Biology Club and the Civil Air Patrol, and building and flying control line and radio control model airplanes.

After graduating, he joined the Navy and qualified for aviation electronics school and aircrew school.  As an aircrew man, Larry flew missions in two kinds of aircraft.  An Airborne Early Warning aircraft (EC121K Super Constellation) as part of the DEW line extension, which required seven 16-hour flights in two weeks then rest for two weeks.  Next he flew an anti-submarine warfare aircraft (P3A Orion) during 1965-66, on reconnaissance missions over Vietnam, earning a Navy Air Medal for 65 missions over seven months.  Other missions and deployments were flown in the P3A for the next two years.

His long working career has centered on flight and high tech electronics.  Beginning at Fairchild Semiconductor as an electronics technician, a test engineer, product engineer, and product line manager, Larry worked in various high technology companies over the next 25 years, advancing his vocation, working with computers, semiconductor testing, and product engineering, in Silicon Valley. During this time Larry was one of the first 400 employees at AMD (Advance Micro Devices) and also worked at NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, on the Illiac IV Computer, which was the largest and fastest computer in the world at that time.  He worked at IBM on mass storage systems and then at Micro Power Systems as a test engineer and product line manager while also developing an automatic method to test semiconductor leakage current levels less than 1×10 to the minus fifteenth power.

Next Larry went to Lockheed Missiles & Space Corporation, which then became Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company where he worked for another 25 years. Larry worked in Information Technology and has supported such programs as the Hubble Space Telescope, Solar Arrays for the International Space Station, the Airborne Laser, Missile Defense, the Ballistic Missiles used in the US Naval Submarines, and others.  His last five years before retiring Larry moved into test engineering as a senior electronics engineer, responsible for designing and building mainframe computerized test systems used to test the black boxes that were a part of an integral system of a certain kind of satellite. 

Larry possesses a commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating plus both ground and flight instructor certificates, for both single and multi-engine airplanes and instruments.  He also teaches both pilot flight training and ground school which he continues in his retirement.   He earned his bachelor’s degree in professional aeronautics from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

Larry and his wife Lorraine live in San Jose, California.  Between the two of them they have five children who have given them nine grandchildren.  Oldest to youngest, Laura and husband Rocco in New Jersey with two children, Robert in Nevada, Richard and wife Anna in Colorado with four children, Annika and husband Ryan in New Mexico with  three children, and Andrew in San Jose. In Larry’s hangar in San Jose, he has a retirement project – restoring/building a 1950 Aeronca 7EC airplane.

A former teacher said, “Larry is a classic example of a young man who pulled himself up by his bootstraps; nothing was handed to him.” A fellow alum said, “America is a more knowledgeable and safer nation because of Larry’s work.”

Nominators: former SHS biology teacher Harryet Snyder and Mike Johnson ’63.

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