Reta Carol Cagle

Reta Carol Cagle

June 12, 1922 - May 26, 2010

Reta Carol Cagle

June 12, 1922 - May 26, 2010


Life has come full circle. On May 26, 2010, Reta Carol Cagle passed away peacefully at the age of 87 in the hospital in Mission Viejo among family and friends. Reta was born in Texas June 12, 1922 and excelled as an aerospace designer engineer, a female among mostly males, at Rockwell over 40 years. She was a loving sister, aunt and great friend. She will be sorely missed!

Memorial services will be held at O’Connor Mortuary, Laguna Hills, CA on Monday, June 7, 2010 at 10 a.m. followed by enurnment at El Toro Memorial Park, Lake Forest, CA.

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10 responses to Reta Carol Cagle

  1. On May 26, 2010 I lost my beloved and last sister and very best friend. My emotions have run the gamut but deep, deep sorrow remains. Reta was simply the best and not just because she is my sister. She was shy and couldn’t toot her own horn, but she achieved so much in her career as one of few women early in aviation and then aerospace. She earned respect! She was a brain bar none! It was not in her thinking she couldn’t do anything ever. She taught herself to sew and told me when I was a baby, she had to talk Dad out of one of his few shirts to make me a dress. She made car seat covers and boat sails, covers, etc. Dad was the same except he sewed our winter quilts. Though blind from my very early memories, he and Reta never thought they couldn’t do anything. I’ve known Dick from about the time he and Reta met as well as all the lifelong friends and their families she made before Dick and then she and Dick came to meet. These two were the most complimentary companions and remained devoted to the end. Reta and I and then Dick traveled a long way in life together. She had a very full life. We had mutual interests computers from early on, puzzle books, book stores, sports, sailing, about anything. After all these miles together, the road hasn’t ended for Reta and me. She was, is and always will be my best friend, sister and guide. There can’t be another like her.
    Love, Bobbie

  2. Reta was our great aunt and she will be missed. We cherish the memories we had of visiting her and Dick in Mission Viejo… boat rides around the lake, swimming at the little beach, eating out and the kids playing with the cats! We will always remember Reta as a smart, determined, loving friend and aunt!! May she be at peace and know that she is truely missed!! God Bless the Cagle family during this tough time…. Love prevails in the end!

    Kent and Wendy xo

  3. Tommy Cagle says:

    Aunt Reta worked hard in her engineering career, lived a long life, mostly on her own terms, with a devoted mate, and will be missed. I aspire to do the same
    Tom Cagle, nephew

  4. Anonymous says:

    Reta’s Memorial.
    To be read at Reta’s Memorial Service on Monday June 7 10:00 am

    I first learned of my older sister’s Reta’s passing from my younger sister, Bobbie it was on the 26th May Wednesday late afternoon about 6:00oclock pm.
    I was socked saddened and it was some minutes that I came to realize what I was being told. It was not possible that this was happening. Every since I was a baby my big sister looked after me, Reta would tease, calling me a big baby, when I sat on my mom’s lap nursing. And when I was old enough to run and play. Reta, Fern would playfully tease me.
    Reta would help me with my Soap Box Racer. When I was about 9 years old. She was instrumental in determining my racer needed to be properly in weight balance. So we lived across the street from an Oil Field machine tool company, Jones Everett Company. Since I knew the owner, Mr. Jones, from the boy scouts even thou I wasn’t old enough to be in the boy scouts Reta & I approached him to help us out with my Soap Box Racer balance problem. My Racer was made out of wood and can you imagine Reta supervising a huge drilling machine, that would fill up this room with it size, to bore out the wooden nose to solve my racers balance problem. I won First place in my Class B, and lost the champion ship only by a photo finish.
    We had only one bike and that we often rode. One day we rode our bike about 25 miles distance to our cousins house in LeFores, Texas. In those days there were no bike lanes on the roads in fact he highway was a barely 2 lanes, no center line and no passing lane. We peddled down in the morning and peddled back in the dark of night. Just to visit our mother’s brother, Uncle Roy, and his wife Aunt Effie, Garland and Nell Roy. It was fun. Particularly because when I got tired from peddling I got to ride on the handle bars instead of Reta. We did lots of things together.
    Reta was still in high school and Fern was going to Canyon State College at Canyon Texas. While I delivered newspapers and work washing windows at Zales Jeweler Company.
    Reta was a dedicated Aerospace Engineer at North American Aviation where she helped engineer Project Apollo the Lunar Lander, and the Space Shuttle and Billy Mitchell’s B-25 Bomber which hit Japan and the F-51 Fighter which help save England. She was truly an exceptional engineer and will be greatly missed. After Reta graduated from High School she was hired as an engineer by North American Aviation in Dallas, Texas during WW II. North American Aviation sent Reta to the University of Texas at Austin to become one of the few women engineers, she and Josephine Munster. After she learned engineering she reported for work at North American Aviation in Dallas. She roomed with our Aunt Irene and Aunt Irene’s three boys, Billy, Jess, Freddy, and of course Grand Father Cyrus White, Reta’s mother’s and Aunt Irene’s father.
    After WW II ended she was transferred by North American Aviation to Los Angeles California. At that time I was in the US Navy and Reta still looked after me. I was inspired by her and followed her into engineering.
    She was truly an exceptional engineer and will be greatly missed,
    In later years Neil Roy and her husband would visit Reta, Dickie, and our mom. Jane & I in Huntington Beach, and Garland and his family would visit us in Tustin.
    Reta loved boats and farming Reta never did anything on a small scale she had several sail boat which she kept in Newport Bay California. We often sailed the ocean blue. Reta, Dickie, Jane and me loved to sail the Newport Harbor and going to the actor John Duke Wayne house on the bay or going to her boat and viewing the Christmas Parade, and celebrating New Years. We would camp out on the Newport Beach. Our two sons, Kent and Tommy were always with us. Reta would often try to repair the boat’s engine. One time she was repairing a gasoline portable engine power electrical plant, got fed up with it and put it in a big bag and gave it to me to fix. Or when we al

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