Keith Carl Beardslee of Endwell, NY died Saturday May 16, 2015, at the age of 82. In 2005 he was preceded in death by his best friend and beloved wife of 48 summers, Nancy Dummisk Beardslee. He is survived by his daughter, Margaret Coughlin, whom he loved dearly, and by her husband, Dr. Thomas P. Coughlin, of Princeton Junction, NJ. He is also survived by a very special friend, Irene Grikenis. Keith became interested in airplanes at a very early age and was considered to be the aviation expert of his Walton, NY kindergarten class. He started flying lessons from a cow pasture there at age 15. After earning an engineering degree from Bucknell University he joined IBM as a Flight Test Engineer. During his 33-year career at IBM Owego, Keith worked on a variety of aircraft and space programs including the Saturn / Apollo moon rocket, the Space Shuttle, the orbiting Astronomical Observatory, and the Hubbell Space Telescope. He retired from IBM in 1987. Keith held a commercial pilot certificate and gave introductory glider rides to hundreds of people at Harris Hill, the Soaring Capital of America, in Elmira, NY. He happily explored the clouds over central New York state in his retired racing sailplane named “Tango Two,” and in 2009 was awarded a life membership in the Harris Hill Soaring Corporation. Keith loved the sky as a sailor loves the sea.
Funeral services will be held Friday 11 am from the Allen Memorial Home, 511-513 East Main Street, Endicott, with the Reverend Father Clarence Rumble officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Johnson City. The family will receive friends at Allen Memorial Home, Thursday from 2-4 pm. Expression of sympathy in his memory may be made to Mercy House c/o Church of the Holy Family 3600 Phyllis Street, Endwell, NY 13760.