Fred Garry could recount the moment he knew he wanted a life in aviation: It came one day as he sat in an ice cream parlor, hearing Charles Lindberg’s exploits over the radio.
Years later, writing a tribute about his friend for the National Academy of Engineering, Edward Hood Jr. would make a strong case for why Garry was one of the most famous aviators in the world. Garry didn’t make his mark by flying – his expertise was in engineering and his work on jet engines helped his longtime employer, General Electric, become a world leader jet engine manufacturing.
Garry joined the company in 1951 and in the ensuing decades his intelligence and work ethic would push him up its ranks. He would eventually head up GE’s military engines division and its corporate engineering sector and pushed for expanded engineering opportunities for women and minorities. In 1989 he was elected to the company’s Propulsion Hall of Fame.
He also served on the board of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana (his alma mater) and at Clarkson University, where he and his wife, Betsy, established a scholarship.
By Robert Warren