John Garfield Fraley, age 75, of Forest Hills Drive, Morehead, and Titusville, Florida, passed away Saturday, August 22, 2020, at St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington. He fought a nine-year courageous battle with cancer. Throughout his fight he never once complained and he never gave up.
John was born on February 13, 1945, in Fleming County. He was the son of the late Glennis and Lona Fraley of Morehead. John is survived by his heartbroken wife of 44 years, Joanne.
John graduated from Breckenridge Training School in 1963. He studied at Morehead State University and graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. The week after graduation he began working with NASA at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. He had a long, storied career with NASA beginning with the Apollo Program. As a young engineer he worked on the lunar lander vehicle on Apollo 11 and the subsequent missions to the moon. After Apollo ended, he transitioned to the Skylab Program and finally the Space Shuttle. He was instrumental in the initial design of facilities and equipment to support the Space Shuttle Orbiter operations and was responsible for handling and access while the Orbiter was processed at Kennedy Space Center. He knew many of the astronauts and received many awards during his career including a NASA Exceptional Service Commendation and a “Silver Snoopy” awarded directly by the astronauts for outstanding performance.
After his retirement in 2000, John came back to his home in Kentucky for longer periods of time to manage his family farm in Fleming County and other business interests. He always said he lived in Florida but Kentucky was his home. He was a passionate, intense UK fan and tried never to miss a game.
John will be greatly missed by his wife and many friends.
Private graveside services will be conducted Wednesday, August 26, 2020, at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens with Marcus Giese and Truman Dehner presiding.
Visitation for friends will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 25, 2020, at Northcutt and Son Home for Funerals, 400 Fraley Drive, Morehead, KY 40351.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to one of John’s favorite charities, the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge, 1500 College Way, Lexington, KY 40302.
COVID-19 regulations as set forth by the state will be observed.
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