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. Shirley and family,
    Sandi and I are saddened to hear of Nate’s passing , but we’ll always remember his smile and great personality. I’ll never forget Nate and I swimming at our Santa Barbara retreat. Great fun!
    we love you,
    Fred and Sandi

  2. Jim says:

    Well, on 2nd thought he was first to Ronald Reagan. Why? I had a lot of personal interaction with Reagan but not the daily interaction that I had with Nate

  3. Jim says:

    The one thing that I can only talk about now, But Nate admitted to me on my retirement day in Oct 1992 that I was the one who convinced him to retire… long story !

  4. Jim says:

    Nate was learning email on his PC but his SPOs weren’t. He asked me to send him an email about something and then in the next day’s stand-up he said “there is an important e-mail there for all you SPO directors to review so you better log on and read it, cause your secretary can’t.” That was a changing moment for SP!!

  5. Jim says:

    Nate was the BEST boss I ever had second only to Ronald Reagan! He had an ability to understand and trust me with computer and networking technology like no other boss. I remember that day I was sitting with him in the Cape Canaveral launch center when we lost ground connectivity with the satellite 1 minute before a shuttle launch launch. He turned to me and said ” should we scrub this launch?” My Answer “NO, we can always bring the satellite back if it doesn’t work” His answer.”Ok, i’ll trust you.” and all went perfectly.

    Nate had supported me with a lot of money to make networking to a satellite at the launchpad a reality rather than deploying vans of contractors to the Cape and also compromising security.

    Well, while we thought we had network redundancy between the Cape and Houstan, we really did not.

    The real story… one minute before launch a train derailed in Waco Texas and since the fiber cables ran along the rails, the derailment cut the fiber cables.

    Lesson learned fast! We specified Alt routing in all NRO circuit contracts after that!


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