Travis Joel McMinn Sr. – Obituary

By  | March 8, 2019 | Filed under: Laughlin Service Funeral Home, Obituaries

Travis Joel McMinn Sr., age 90, passed away peacefully at his home in Huntsville on March 8, 2019. Travis was born on February 27, 1929 in Henderson County, TN near Lexington. He was preceded in death by his parents, Beulah and Clyde McMinn.

Travis met the love of his life, Sarah Ruth Reid, while attending Freed-Hardeman College in Henderson, TN. They would soon fall in love and marry in 1949, and thus begin their almost 70 year journey together in life.

Travis served in the United States Air Force from 1950-1954, where he became proficient in electronics and advanced radar set up and troubleshooting. Unaware at the time, this short, concentrated expert training in this field and his knowledge would help open the door of opportunity for what he would do professionally, where he would live to raise his family, and eventually live the rest of his life.

Upon his honorable discharge from the service, he had been informed of some new interesting work at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. He was promptly hired by the Army Guided Missile Command in 1955 and went to work immediately on the rocket test and checkout ranges on the arsenal. The work was compelling and he loved it. Travis would go on to earn his B.S. degree in Physics (1962) while attending night school at the University of Alabama, Huntsville and Athens State University. He was traveling often for work, going to night school and helping to raise a young family during these years. The guided missile group would soon become a part of the new NASA organization. Travis would continue to work for NASA until his retirement in 1979. He then went to work for USBI United Technologies until 1989 upon his final retirement. Travis was always proud, never boastful, of the teams of people he worked with throughout the years that helped shape our country’s space program.

Travis was a lifelong Christian and served the Lord in many capacities. He was a member of Twickenham Church of Christ where he taught Bible classes, volunteered time helping those in need through food and clothing ministries, and served as a former elder. His faith and service to the Lord were always his top priority and guided his life as a devoted loving husband and father, and friend to many. His tireless work ethic, selfless nature, virtue of patience and devotion to Christ enabled him to teach so many by the example of the life he lived. His endless devotion to God and family has left an everlasting legacy.

Travis and his family enjoyed many years of waterskiing, camping, and traveling together. He particularly loved the Tennessee River and Guntersville Lake, and in his own words, “felt blessed to have been able to make a living and raise a family in one of the most beautiful places on earth”. Travis also enjoyed many other activities and hobbies including golf, fishing, woodworking, woodcarving, and square dancing.

Survivors include his loving wife of 69 years, Sarah Ruth Reid McMinn; children, Rebecca Ann McMinn Barron (Del), Jenny Lee McMinn Wong, and Travis Joel McMinn Jr. (Dana); seven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 12 noon to 2 p.m. on Monday, March 11 at Laughlin Service Funeral Home. The funeral will follow in the chapel with Brother Lincoln Smith officiating. Burial will be in Valhalla Memory Gardens.

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