Leroy J. “Lee” Adelsbach passed quietly into heaven on June 2, 2019. Born to Clarence Adelsbach and Julia Benham Adelsbach in 1929, he was raised by his father and stepmother Della Satterberg Adelsbach on a small farm in Kingsburg until his late teens.
Having had enough of farming, he began a short career in midget racing with the likes of Bill and Eli Vukovich.
It was during this time that he met his future bride Margaret “Gerry” Hubble. They wed on February 28, 1948. A year later a son was born and they soon realized that racing would not support a family.
After a short time of working various jobs, Lee started his electrical career with Southern Cal Edison and was transferred to Lancaster. Within the year the draw of air flight landed him in the employ of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics, better known today as NASA.
In his 30-year career with NASA he worked on various projects such as the X-1, X-15, and the Space Shuttle program. He worked with many test pilots that became instrumental in the Nation’s space travel. During the end of his career with NASA, he was involved with public relations for the Space Shuttle landings at Edwards Air Force Base and worked with politicians and celebrities that came to view the landings.
He loved this nation’s history from the Revolutionary War to World War ll, especially the weaponry of our early history. As a result, he built flintlock and cap lock rifles and started a small traveling business selling parts and supplies to shooters of these styles of rifles. He loved to hunt and fish when he could.
Even though he left the farm at a young age, he also loved the land and what it could provide. He always had a garden and small orchard. He loved spending time tending to the various crops, so much so that after 30 years with NASA, he retired to Ahwahnee to build his dream log home and farm an apple orchard with his son for 15 years.
Lee is preceded in death by his parents Clarence and Julia, stepmother Della, as well as his wife of 57 years, Gerry. He is survived by his sister Jerine Schoenwald, son Scott and wife Cass, daughter Julia Jameson and husband Don, daughter Jeri Lynn Mackay, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Graveside service will be held on June 21 at 10 a.m. at Oakhill Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be held on June 22 at 11 a.m. at the Oakhurst Elks Lodge. In lieu of flowers please donate to Elks National Foundation, PO Box 2569, Oakhurst, CA 93644.
His loving and kind heart will be greatly missed.