DeSart worked with Saturn rockets


Dean Allan DeSart was born on Oct. 23, 1927, to Cliff and Mina DeSart in Mobridge, and died May 12, 2012, after a short, intense illness.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Phyllis; his son, Gary and his wife Linda and their children Jeff and Zach; his son, Michael and his wife Pam and their sons, Christopher and Bryan; and Dean’s granddaughter, Allyson. Dean had four great-grandchildren Grant, Nathaniel, Arel, and Blakely.

Dean is preceded in death by his son, Randy.

Dean graduated from Mobridge High School in 1945. He was active in sports, playing football, basketball and track. Dean attended South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City and graduated from the University of South Dakota in Brookings with an electrical engineering degree. He worked briefly for Montana Dakota Electric before receiving a job offer from IBM in April of 1951. Dean started his career at IBM in Endicott, N.Y., and would have jobs in Glendale, Calif., Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Kingston, N.Y., Bedford, Md., Huntsville, Ala. and Owego, N.Y. A major focus of Dean’s career at IBM in Huntsville was as manager of the large-scale hybrid simulation laboratory, considered to be the “brain” of the Saturn 1B and V series of rockets. In this laboratory, engineers and scientist supported the real-time simulation of all aspects of the Saturn rocket flights into space and eventually to the moon. Dean retired after 32 years with IBM at age 55 to Smith Mountain Lake, Va. where he became a realtor, and worked an additional 10 years before moving to Athens, Ala.
Dean was an avid fisherman, hunter and boater. He also enjoyed traveling and especially loved car trips to the Black Hills. Dean loved the memories of Mobridge, where he grew up.

We will all miss him greatly and no one will fill the void he leaves. As I heard a few say during the past couple of days, “He was a fine man.”

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