Donald C. Loughry
Jan. 12, 1931-Feb. 22, 2012
Los Altos, California
Don Loughry passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family, on Feb. 22, 2012. He will be remembered as a gentle, caring man with a strong sense of purpose, the utmost integrity and a love of puns. Don was born in Flushing, New York, on Jan. 12, 1931, the older of two sons of James Kenneth and Anita Loughry. He grew up in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and attended Ridgewood High School. He graduated in 1952 from Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. After college he worked two years at the Naval Ordinance Lab in Maryland and then two years in the Army Signal Corp.
Don's major accomplishment in his 42 years working at Hewlett-Packard (1956 to 1998) was his leadership in the development of technical and Internet standards. Don led work in the 1970s on the IEEE 488 bus that made it easier for machines to interface with each other. He was the key initiator of the IEEE's 802 family of standards during the 1980s and 1990s. The 802.3 Ethernet standard is now used in over 300 million computers and the 802.11 wireless standard is ubiquitous in mobile devices. These international standards enable the easy global communications we take for granted every day. For his standards efforts, Don earned many awards including the 2003 IEEE Proteus Steinmetz Award and the 2011 IEEE Richard M. Emberson Award.
Staying abreast and educated on current events around the world -- and sharing that knowledge -- was always a goal of Don's. Don led "Great Decisions," an annual 8-week course by the Foreign Policy Association, at First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto for over 25 years.
Don loved all kinds of science but especially enjoyed astronomy and would stay up all night watching and photographing an eclipse or a meteor shower. Don's other passion was bonsai, he found creating beauty in the form of miniature trees spiritual and relaxing.
After retirement, Don combined his love of science and teaching by spending several days each week preparing and testing science experiments with a "wow factor" to excite his 6th grade students at Crittenden school in Mountain View, where he volunteered for six years.
Don was a loving husband and best friend of Alice, his wife of 55 years. Don distinguished himself by his loyalty to family, friends, church, volunteer organizations, and neighbors.
Don is survived by his wife, Alice; son, Alex; daughter, Lynn Bergquist (Rick); grandchildren, Kristina and Eric Bergquist; brother, Richard (Janet), of Denver, Colorado; and brother-in-law, David Phillips (Ruth) of Maryland.
A Celebration of Life will take place on Saturday, March 24, at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 625 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto, with reception at Fellowship Hall following.
In lieu of flowers, if you wish to make a contribution in Don's memory these are three of his favorite organizations: Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health http://www.supportlpch.org/ 400 Hamilton Ave., Suite 340, Palo Alto, CA 94301; First United Methodist Church http://firstpaloalto.com/giving.shtml 625 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301; KQED https://www.kqed.org/donate/ 2601 Mariposa St., San Francisco, CA 94110