Alan was born and raised in South Floral Park Long Island, the youngest of four brothers and three sisters. He graduated from a local high school, Sewanhaka, and was drafted into the US Army for a 2 year service period which he changed to four year commitment with the US Air Force. Alan had many adventures as a radio operator on a B-29, rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant.
After working at a bank and machine shop, Alan was hired by IBM in its typewriter division. He studied and took to a new, burgeoning gizmo called a “computer,” and was transferred to IBM’s engineering department. He worked for IBM for thirty years with many promotions and lead positions. Among his many team projects was to first computerize the NY Stock Exchange. He then worked for many years in IBM research labs, specializing in satellite communications, until retirement. Alan’s homes always included a machine shop, sophisticated electronics equipment, a baby grand piano, and an adopted shelter dog. He also earned a pilot’s license and flew his own small plane for many years. He is credited with numerous inventions for which he designed and built his own integrated circuit boards, some of which were published in notable trade journals. When he was 80, he voluntarily diagnosed and reprogrammed part of a company’s commercial product to fix a difficult bug. He was offered a position, but declined.
Alan retired to Lempster, NH in 1987, and moved to Langdon in 2019. According to his family, his engineering skill was matched only by his boundless heart, humility, generosity and good nature. He and we are very grateful for Langdon’s extraordinary care. He is survived by his sister Janet Ashby of Smithtown, New York, and seven nieces and nephews. He will be deeply missed.
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