Harold (Hal) Bernard Espeland, born September 14, 1943 in Oakland CA, husband of Jill Gunter-Espeland of Hermosa Beach CA, father of Erin Espeland of Winters CA and Michael Espeland of San Francisco CA, brother of Janet Silva of San Leandro, CA, Claire Couch of Saratoga Springs NY, and Sharon Espeland of Advance NC, died suddenly of a heart attack December 9th, 2005. An intellectually incisive and intelligent man, he made important contributions to our national defense working for IBM and Lockheed Martin as a defense contractor for over 40 years. He enjoyed traveling, whale watching, and spending time on the water. Those of us fortunate to have experienced his zest for life and generous heart will never forget the impact that he has had on our lives. Donations in his memory can be made to the American Heart Association. A gathering of family and friends will be at Rice Mortuary in Torrance on December 16 at 1:00 P.M.

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  1. I’m so sorry for your sudden loss, Jill. I just read the obit in the SF newspaper. I’m sure that you don’t know me and I’m sure that Hal might not remember me either, but I’m a cousin of his. When I was young my family used to visit Hal’s family when they lived in San Leandro, CA. I used to play with Claire and Sharon. My father was Annido and he was married to Lorraine. My sister is Laura Marino. Hal was 10 years older than me almost to the day, my birthday being 09/15/53. I have always remembered the San Leandro visits and have a special place in my heart for them. Please send my condolences also to Erin, Michael,Janet, Claire and Sharon. My prayers and thoughts are with you all. Sincerely, Nadine Boffi

  2. As I searched for a memory of Hal, I realized that I didn’t have a single memory, rather a collection based on all the short time that I knew him. If I had to describe Hal in one word, it would be passionate. He was passionate in work, always concerned about making sure that we were doing the best that we could and passionate in his life. He lived life, and would passionately talk of all the things that were a part of his life, especially Jill. My wife, Kathy and I loved going to Hal and Jill’s house to watch for whales, and it was always apparent that Hal loved and was very proud of Jill. We all start out in this business being passionate about our jobs, but after doing what we do for so many years, the passion starts to die a little. Still, when we are working, there’s that little voice in your head that reminds us of what we should or would do if we were still passionate about our work. I realized shortly after Hal joined us that he reminded me of the little voice in my head that reminds us of how we can do things better. Kind of like your Mom, if she knew anything about doing systems engineering or development. Hal was passionate about making sure that we knew the proper thing to do to create the best Control Segment and to delight our customer. Now, to be honest, when you are dealing with someone as passionate as Hal, I must admit that it was fun some times to see much I could get him spinning and how long I could keep him there before I told him that I agreed with him, which I almost always did. And, he certainly did that to me some times too. It was one of the main things that I loved about him. In closing, let me say that I will miss Hal a lot. He re-invigorated me in the work that I do. And even though, he’s gone, I’ll always have that little voice in my head. And when I hear it, I’ll think of Hal, and I’ll pay more attention to it, because he would have wanted me too.

  3. We’ll think of Hal every time we watch the AVP, and how sharing the experience with Hal & Jill made attending the tournaments so much more enjoyable. We’ll miss that. -Chris & Barbara

  4. Hal will be missed by all that ever knew him. Working with Hal was always exciting, fun and challenging. It is easy to smile when you think back of time spent with him. My sympathy Jill, this is a very hard time for you. Having known you I have a strong belief you will be OK in time, stay positive and thankful for the good memories with Hal.

  5. Jill, my heartfelt condolences to you and your family. I can’t help but remember how nice Hal was to me on my first trip to LMCO in Gaithersburg. He had just met me upon signing me into the building. With all of the meetings that were going on, he took the time out of his schedule to find a form in order for me to get my badge and then personally carried the form to the right people to get signed. With his assistance I had my badge right after lunch. I just wanted to let you know that a kind jesture (no matter how big or small) is never forgotten. Beverly Nelson

  6. My lasting memory of Hal is when he helped us calk our shower and seeing him standing in our shower stall (fully dressed of course) with at least 5 or 6 other people, all holding wine and beer as we calked it. I also remember vividly Hal’s dismissal from a grand jury because he was talking more than the lawyers! I remember his wit and strong opinions at work (and he was always right on!) and all the fun we had together on game nights.

  7. Hal made a difference. I first met him after being told, “Look out for Hal, he’s really mean, tough, hard to talk to.” Boy, did I take the bait – quaking in my boots, on my best behavior, all to find out that the joke was on me! You couldn’t get within 100 feet of Hal without just knowing that you loved him – and he loved you. Hal was a program manager’s dream – worked tirelessly, got his facts straight, great with people, and totally willing to let you stand up and be the front person. When he detected you needed advice, he’d give it – in private, so you wouldn’t feel defensive; when you needed a shot in the arm, he did that – in public, so it would be that much more effective. We all miss him – but Jill, I cannot imagine your sense of loss. Knowing you, though, and how much Hal loved you, I expect you’ll have wonderful, strong, sustaining memories. And you’ll make him proud as you carry forward his gifts of love and laughter and accomplishment. With love, Peggy

  8. Hal Espeland was truly a gifted man. He held the unique ability to analyze both problems and proposed solutions from an unbiased, practical perspective. This gift he passed to many, allowing us to carry his gift into the future. I will truly miss his skill as a mentor and teacher. Many times I have sought out his opinion and gained a changed perspective. Hal told me once that we were quite alike in our tactics and strategies with regard to taking the high road on ethics and in remaining true to our own beliefs. I’m not sure I’ve been as consistent as Hal in that regard, but I see it as his challenge to me. Hal was also a generous person, who often supported my work with the extra effort of traveling to support my requests. His energy was always present, even when he was three time zones removed from his home. It is my desire to never forget the lessons and gifts Hal gave me and I hope to always honor him in this way. Sincerely, William Besch

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