Kenneth Warren Saunders, 54
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1960 - 2014
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Kenneth Warren Saunders, Jan. 9, 2014. We are sad to report the sudden passing of Kenneth Saunders in Las Cruces, New Mexico after a short illness of only a week. He died from complications of viral pneumonia in both lungs. Ken would be 54 years old on Monday, Jan. 13.
Ken grew up in Westbrook, and attended Westbrook schools. He was active in Boy Scouts and attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He did extremely well in school and graduated from Westbrook High School as class Valedictorian in 1978. Ken attended Princeton University and majored in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He graduated magna cum laude in 1982 and then went to Purdue University as a teaching assistant and majoring in Electrical Engineering where he received his M.S. degree.
He was employed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Lincoln Laboratory for 24 years where he was an aviation electronic hardware specialist developing the TCAS collision avoidance system. He helped to develop Parallel Runway Landing Systems using GPS. His next responsibility was to help develop a target to test lasers that could bring down enemy missiles. In 2008 Kenneth moved to the New Mexico State University in Las Cruces where he was in charge of gathering the information from Sounding Rocket launches at White Sands Missile Range.
Kenneth is survived by his wife Julie Carlin Saunders; his beloved pets Cooper, Joey and Spats; his parents Marjorie and Henry Saunders of Standish and Osprey, Fla.; and his sister Leslie Saunders McManus and her husband Bryan of Standish. He has numerous other relatives including aunts, uncles and cousins.
Kenneth was a caring and loving person with a good sense of humor. He had a lot to offer and he has received many accolades for his ability, expertise and his professional vitality, most recently receiving his second NMSU Research Achievement Award. Ken will be seriously missed by his family, friends, employer and employees.
We pray for the soul of our beloved son, brother, husband. Plans are still being developed but the intent is to have a private family service in Las Cruces, N.M. and then a memorial service at the Westbrook-Warren Church in Westbrook in June.
A suggested memorial for those wishing is to:
Walker Memorial Library
800 Main Street
Westbrook, Maine 04092-3423
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Jan. 12, 2014