Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Leon J. KosofskyNASA Engineer

Leon J. Kosofsky, 88, a retired NASA photogrammetric engineer who created detailed maps of the moon's surface, died Oct. 10 at his home in Bethesda. He had melanoma.

Mr. Kosofsky joined the space agency in the early 1960s. As a project engineer for the Lunar Orbiter program of unmanned photographic satellites, he created maps of the moon to help locate places for manned missions to land.

Following the completion of the Lunar Orbiter missions he worked on the Apollo program, analyzing photographs of the moon taken by astronauts. He also contributed to the Viking program, the exploration of Mars, before his retirement in 1974.

Leon Julius Kosofsky was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He earned his bachelor's degree in geology from Brooklyn College in 1940 and a master's degree in geology from the University of Minnesota in 1941. He was an Army mapmaker stationed in Algeria and Hawaii during World War II and prepared maps used during Allied invasions.

During retirement, he volunteered in D.C. public schools giving lessons on space exploration to students and took courses in foreign languages, music and Jewish studies at the University of Maryland.

Survivors include his wife of 66 years Rita Goldstein Kosofsky of Bethesda; three children, Nina Kopesky of Asheville, N.C., Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick of Manhattan, N.Y., and David Kosofsky of New Orleans; a sister; four grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters.

-- Lauren Wiseman

Willie A. Westry Sr.Custodian

Willie A. Westry Sr., 83, a retired General Services Administration custodian, died Oct. 4 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Washington after a heart attack. He was a Washington resident.

Mr. Westry worked for the GSA from 1957 until his retirement in 1970. He then worked part time as a gas station attendant in Northeast Washington until 1998.

Willie Atha Westry was born in Rocky Mount, N.C. He joined the Army in 1945 and served until he moved to Washington in 1950.

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