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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  3. My deepest condolences go out to Mrs. Lindsay and family. I had the pleasure and privilege of working for General Lindsay in Los Angeles. He was the most thoughtful, kind and considerate person. I feel very blessed to have had the honor of working for him. Rest in Peace Sir! Phila Mukherjee

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  5. I will always remember General Lindsay as a great Patriot, Leader, and Friend. He supported and enabled his people to do great things. He was my boss when Titan 34D-9 failed and halted our Nation’s ability to verify and sign treaties. He sent us SP-16’ers out to go find the cause and fix it, and empowered us with “Whatever it Takes” to get it done. As young Captains and Majors, he gave us mult-million dollar programs to run and assess and backed us up every step of the way. In addition, he took a personal interest in his people and made sure they were encouraged and recognized… a true Leader! I recall we were ALMOST ready to launch the replacement Titan when we were “one valve short of a full deck”, and he sent us back to the rocket factory to work 24/7 to get that last unit out the door. We worked with SMC as well as UTC, MMC, VAFB and many others to get the job done. When it was over, we delivered that (electromechanical) valve to a Martin guy in a rental car, who drove it up to Vandenberg, had the team there install it, and we launched it (successfully!) a few days later. Afterwords, the START treaty was signed by President Reagan and there was a drastic drop in the number of nuclear weapons in both sides hands. (Go to the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Museum in Japan and beam with pride as they show you the actual curve that begins to drop right after that launch!) The General then made sure SAF Pete Aldridge flew to LAAFB to give us who worked on it Commendation medals, in a little-advertised ceremony in the old Building 100. We couldn’t even tell the world that it was General Lindsay that we worked for and what unit he commanded, but everyone knew that he was in charge of Special People who got amazing things done. It was a real rush to see our work so visibly recognized by so senior a person and the Leadership and Purpose and Mission Success and absolute care for his people that he taught me stays with me to this day. In the middle of all that, General Lindsay even signed an application of mine to become a NASA Astronaut, but alas, my eyes were not good enough, so he encouraged me to continue my engineering career, and… here I am, almost 30 years later, still very much in debt to this great man and this great Leader. He was a kind, generous, wise, intelligent, man of immense character and vision. Our Nation owes its very existence to his efforts and accomplishments. I will miss him terribly, but I know that what he did, and the people he touched, made our nation safe, free, and the world a better place. My deepest condolences to the family, and and thank you to them for sharing your lives with us as well. May your rest be in peace, sir! I’m sure where you are, the Angels themselves will salute you. G-d Bless.

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