Grady Leverne McMeans

By  | October 16, 2020 | Filed under: Laughlin Service Funeral Home, Obituaries

Grady Leverne McMeansGrady Leverne McMeans, 83, was granted his angel wings on October 14, at his home with his family by his side in Huntsville, Alabama. Grady was born in Capshaw, Alabama to Minnie Estelle and Jesse Verde McMeans. Grady was a graduate of Butler High School, Class of 1955. Upon graduation, he served in the Navy on the U.S.S. Savage 386 destroyer for four years, stationed in Seattle, Washington, and Hawaii. In 1960, just after being discharged from the Navy, he met the love of his life – Rebecca Huey – at a New Year’s Eve Party; they were married six months later, on June 16, 1961. Their beautiful love affair lasted 59 wonderful and blessed years.

Soon after they married, they moved to Lancaster, California where Grady worked for NASA at Edwards Air Force Base in radar, tracking test pilots flying the X-15; these pilots later became some of the early astronauts of space exploration. Grady returned to Huntsville to be an instructor at Redstone Arsenal teaching the Hawk Missile System and mentoring many young engineers. After 15 years of teaching, he returned to NASA as a failure and analysis technician in the EEE Parts group at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, supporting many investigations for the Space Shuttle Program and a multitude of MSFC projects and payloads. During this time, he also owned and operated The Prop Shop on South Parkway in Huntsville. After a brief retirement period, Grady returned to MSFC as a quality assurance representative, supporting the Safety and Mission Assurance organization as a mission services contractor. Grady’s contributions were acknowledged by numerous awards throughout his distinguished career. He fully retired from NASA at the age of 80.

Grady knew the meaning of hard work and perseverance, which he taught to his children and grandchildren. He demonstrated his fighting spirit by battling heart disease from the age of 32, surviving five open heart surgeries. He believed the spirit and the mind had power over the body, and that your determination to overcome should be one of your greatest assets.
Grady had a zest for life, loved fishing, Alabama football, and had a delightful sense of humor. He loved telling jokes and playing practical jokes. He loved laughter and taught us all how to “live in the moment.” Grady loved with his whole heart and was a loving, caring, and devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend.

Grady is survived by his wife, Rebecca; daughters, Cathey Collinsworth, and Brenda Bailey and spouse, Christopher Bailey; grandchildren, Jennifer Morrow, Rachel Bailey, and Cameron Bailey; sister, Dorothy Nell Throneberry; nephews, Larry Throneberry, and Ron Throneberry; nieces, Susan Ferrante, Lynn Whisenant, Debbie Taylor, and Pat Bregard; and a host of friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Joyce Hill; and brother, Ernest McMeans.
The service will be held on Sunday, October 18, 2020 at Laughlin Service Funeral Home. Visitation will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. with service to follow in the Laughlin Service Chapel. Interment will be at Huntsville Memory Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to the Russel Hill Cancer Foundation at Clearview Cancer Institute. You may donate on-line by visiting or by mail to CCI, 3601 CCI Drive, Huntsville, Alabama 35805. You may also donate to The American Heart Association. You may donate on-line by visiting or mail to American Heart Association, 6275 University Blvd., Suite 37, PMB 120, Huntsville, AL 35806.

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