Guenter Wendt, NASA's Pad Leader for the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions, died this morning at his home in Florida. Guenter was the last person to see the astronauts before they went into space. I wrote about him before I started working at the Cosmosphere, because I thought he had such an interesting place in history.
Guenter was here a few weeks ago for the 40th anniversary celebration of Apollo 13 and he was a delight. One afternoon I drove him and flight director, Milt Windler, back to the hotel after a presentation. It was only about a five minute drive, but in that amount of time Guenter had Milt and me both laughing at two different stories.
I'm sorry that Guenter won't be making another visit to Hutchinson, at least not in a corporeal body. But, I can guarantee you he lives on in the hearts of everyone who had an opportunity to meet him. I consider myself very fortunate to have had even a brief interaction with a man who was central to one of the greatest achievements in our history.
The Lope remembers Guenter
My deepest sympathy to his daughters and their families.