George Paul Liacopoulos, 89, Cocoa Beach, FL, died on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at Wuesthoff Hospice House in Rockledge, FL due to complications from smoking and Alzheimer’s. George was born in Herrin, IL to Efstathios “Sam” and Mary (Van Seghi) Liacopoulos and married Marylyn Smith in Decatur, IN on June 22, 1957. George was a veteran of the Korean War where he served in the motor pool, a post that led to a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Tri-State College (now Trine University) in 1955 where he was a member of Alpha Gamma Upsilon.
George’s professional passion was aero and astronautics. He began his career working on the DC-8 at Douglas Aircraft and was a systems engineer at the North American Aviation Thermodynamics Test Laboratory in Columbus, OH working on supersonic flight heating on the A-5 Vigilante and XB-70 Valkyrie. He transferred to the Apollo Program in 1963 in Tulsa, OK where he worked on the Apollo Spacecraft Lunar Module Adapter. In 1965 the family moved to Cocoa Beach where George ultimately became Rockwell’s lead pad engineer for loading fuels and cryogens on the Command and Service Modules of Apollo 11. George secretly placed a fingernail clipping in the insulation of the Descent Stage of the Eagle Lunar Module, which sits to this day on the Moon at the Sea of Tranquility, 0° 40' 26.69' N, 23° 28' 22.69' E. George also worked on the Portable Purge Unit which was responsible for making the Space Shuttle safe after each landing, including STS-7, which carried Sally Ride.
George was an avid golfer, sport shooter, numismatist, novelist (Call of the Moon), sang tenor in barbershop quartets and choruses, played harmonica, and was best known musically as the leader of and banjo player in That Old Gang of Mine, which performed throughout Central Florida. He traveled the world both by sea and by air, circumnavigating the globe by both means of travel, usually in the company of his wife and daughter.
George is preceded in death by his parents and brother Louis (1994) and survived by his wife, daughter Jan (Luke) Miorelli, grandsons Sam and Mitchell (Dannamarie), and sister Catherine Roy.
Services will be held at Our Saviour’s Catholic Church on Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. Burial at a later date will be at the Cape Canaveral National Cemetery. You may sign George's guestbook at www.beckmanwilliamson.com