Obituary News – July 2017
Jim D. Raby, PE, died peacefully June 16, 2017 at approximately 6:30 AM at home, he was 82 years old. Jim was born on August 10, 1934 in the town of Jeff, Alabama. He graduated from Monrovia High School in 1952 and briefly attended Andrew Jackson Business School in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1954, Jim joined the U.S. Navy and served his country honorably as a Seabee and as a Communications Technician.
Jim married the love of his life, Mary Ellen (Mitchell) March 13, 195 9. They recently celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary. Jim and Ellen celebrated the birth of their son, David, in December 1959. David has spent many years at Jim’s side and is diligently carrying on the mission his Dad sat before him.
Following his discharge from the service, Jim began work in Huntsville, Alabama for the Army Ballistics Missile Agency (ABMA) as an electronic technician. There he had the distinction of working with the former German Rocket Team, including Dr. Werner Von Braun, during the infancy of the U.S. Space Program. In 1960, ABMA was transformed into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Jim joined the new agency as a Charter Member. He worked on almost every phase of the Pegasus, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab programs.
Jim established schools across the country for soldering and related technologies and performed lead activities in the fabrication of electronics for the Saturn and Apollo programs.
Jim’s contributions included development of specifications and standards for electronic manufacturing. Jim established schools across the country for soldering and related technologies and performed lead activities in the fabrication of electronics for the Saturn and Apollo programs. Jim moved to various contractor facilities (as a NASA employee) throughout the United States to provide NASA guidance on manufacturing methods and techniques as well as providing Quality Assurance functions. He had the last word on flight readiness of electronic and electrical installations and in troubleshooting these systems when problems arose. The Moon landing during the summer of 1969 was the climax of this great era in Jim’s life.
Jim left NASA in 1975 to work for the U.S. Navy at China Lake, California as Head of Soldering Technology Branch. While at China Lake, Jim developed the Soldering Standardization Program which standardized requirements DoD-wide and the Solder Training and Certification Program. He also started the Electronic Manufacturing and Production Facility (EMPF).
In 1984, Jim left the Navy to start Soldering Technology International Inc. (more recently known as STI Electronics or STI). STI remained a family business until Jim’s recent retirement. Jim’s life focus was to support the electronics manufacturing industry and to do all he could to make sure the country he so loved, was defended. STI is and will always be an advocate for the electronics industry and support our customers through the products and services we offer.
Of all Jim’s achievements, he is most proud of his family – wife Ellen, son David, daughter-in-law Sheila, and beloved granddaughter, Ashley and he was and for ever more will be grateful for his relationship with Jesus.
Although Jim’s passing will leave a huge void, his legacy will live on through his son, David and all those that he poured so much love and attention into. His love for family, friends, colleagues and country will be gratefully remembered for years to come.
View the full article in Global SMT & Packaging July issue. http://digital.trafalgarmedia.com/h/c/1203-global-smt-packaging