Nathan James Lindsay

Nathan James Lindsay

May 24, 1936 - May 25, 2015

Nathan James Lindsay

May 24, 1936 - May 25, 2015


Major General Nathan ‘Nate’ James Lindsay

Major General Nathan ‘Nate’ James Lindsay, USAF (Ret), was born in Monroe, Wisconsin on May 24, 1936 to Ralph and Gertrude Lindsay and went home to be with the Lord on May 25, 2015, at the age of 79.

Nate graduated from Monroe High School in 1954 and attended the University of Wisconsin, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 1958 and a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 1965. In addition, he earned a Master of Science degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1976.

General Lindsay’s Air Force career spanned 34 years (1959-1993). During his career, he was key to the development of the Titan rocket family and played a huge role in launching and deploying numerous classified satellites that are critical to our nation’s defense. He served as Mission Director for X Space Shuttle missions for the Department of Defense. He commanded the Eastern Space and Missile Center at Patrick Air Force Base, FL and thereafter was appointed Director of Special Projects, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force.

His military awards and decorations include the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the NRO Distinguished Service Medal, the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal and the 1992 recipient of the General Thomas D. White USAF Space Trophy. In 1986, he was chosen as an honorary chief master sergeant.

After retiring from the Air Force, he worked for Lockheed Martin for 7 years, where he was Vice President of Mission Success in Denver, Colorado, and led the development of the Atlas 5 rocket.

His faith was very much a part of every aspect of his life. He lived it out with integrity and honesty–in the way he handled people, the way he did business, the decisions he made, the way he loved and treated his wife and family, and in how he lived his life every day. He was very active in the many churches he attended throughout his life.

Nate was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Carol Gertrude Connors. He is survived by his sister, Phoebe Ann Sorenson, his high school sweetheart and wife of 57 years, Shirley (Montgomery), four children: Lori Lindsay (Clint) Smith, Anne Lindsay, Nathan James Lindsay, Jr., and Susan Lindsay (Danny) Brumett; and seven grandchildren.

He would say his accomplishments; awards, titles and positions did not define him but rather the love of his family, friends, and those around him. He loved being a husband, father, and grandfather. He enjoyed the mountains, the ocean, fishing, walking/hiking, the outdoors, and loved whales, birds, and all wildlife (except squirrels).

There will be a funeral service at South Shores Church, Dana Point, CA on Sunday, May 31, 2015 at 2:00 pm and a memorial service at Rockland Community Church, Golden, CO on June 7, 2015 at 2:00 pm. His final resting place will be at Arlington National Cemetery, Fort Myer, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to the following to help cure this horrible disease:

Alzheimer’s Association Orange County Chapter
To donate online, use this link: To write a check, please make it payable to AAOC and mail to 2515 McCabe Way, Irvine, CA 92614. Please designate your donation for research and state ‘In Memory of Nathan Lindsay’.


Cure Alzheimer’s Fund
To donate online, use this link: To write a check, use this link:

Although he is greatly missed by those who were fortunate enough to have known him, it comforts us to know he is with his Lord now.

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30 responses to Nathan James Lindsay

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  1. “General Nate” was my boss’s boss’s boss when I was a lowly second lieutenant at the SP office in Los Angeles. I’ll always remember his beat up Buick Skylark with its hood tied down by a piece of rope. It was comforting to know that the man at the other end of the chain of command was a “regular guy” (though he was anything but). It was also motivating and baffling how that car was there each morning when I pulled in, and each evening when I left. I admired General Nate from afar, and was never more speechless than the first time he greeted me by name when we passed in the hallway. It didn’t take long to learn that that’s the kind of man he was. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a better boss – or one I would more wish to emulate – than General Nate.

    — Mark McDowell

  2. It is deed a pleasure to say that General Lindsay was my Commander and my “Friend”.
    Having just retired from the Air Force Judge Advocate’s Department at Patrick AFB in 1983, prior to his taking command. I felt lost and out of place as no one prior to his arrival had any knowledge of my DOZB/SP14 accomplishments. One of the handicaps, we who worked in classified programs always had to deal with as no one seemed to know or care what we had accomplished.

    General Lindsay knew and cared. This is why I thank The Lord (JESUS) for sending me a friend like Nathan Lindsay. (I did so much enjoy using the Commander’s Table when I had out of town guest – It was also great to see his face during chapel services.

    Kendrick E. Reid II
    Major Retired USAF

  3. Tim McQuade says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with General Lindsay’s family. Nate took a chance on me when I came out of grad school and hired me into SP, starting me on a career trajectory that has now lasted over 25 years. He was a great leader and boss. He will be dearly missed.

  4. Lit a candle in memory of Nathan James Lindsay

  5. Mark LaPole says:

    Nate was a wonderful boss and person. We certainly had memorable times working at Cape Canaveral and Los Angeles, and finding each other at McGuckin Hardware Store in Boulder. Godspeed…

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