Walter Eric Jaye
Oct. 21, 1925-Nov. 9, 2020
Menlo Park, California
Walter E. Jaye - formerly Walter Jakubowski – passed away November 9 at his home in Menlo Park. He was born in Berlin, Germany in 1925 and was a Holocaust survivor. He became a French citizen and was a decorated veteran, being awarded the Legion d’Honneur in 2015 for military service in WW II. He came to the United States on a student fellowship and earned his BS in Electrical Engineering with Honors in 1951 from the University of Rhode Island and his MS in EE from Stanford University in 1952. He was naturalized as a US citizen in 1959.
As a teenager he escaped a French internment camp and was sheltered from the Nazis in the French village of Le Chambon sur Lignon, a community made famous by the willingness of the local population to risk their own lives to shelter Jews and other refugees. Both of his parents were deported from France and died at Auschwitz. He ultimately escaped occupied France with the help of the French resistance and went on to serve in the Second Armored Division of the Free French Army, the famous Dèuxime “DB” that liberated Paris and Strasbourg.
He was proud of his long work at SRI International although he could only share details of his work there long after retirement, when his efforts were declassified. With the advent of Sputnik he became involved in the tracking of satellites and missiles with the 60-foot radar in the Stanford foothills (the “Dish”). A major portion of his work involved contracts with a number of different Intelligence Agencies.
He is preceded in death by his much-loved sister Ruth.
His loving wife Diana, daughter Laurie, son Eric, daughter-in-law, Jeannene, granddaughter Isabella, cousin Nina and her family, niece Gay and her family, niece Renée and her family, survive him.