DANSVILLE — Lt. Gen John G. (Jack) Albert, USAF (ret) died peacefully at his home, surrounded by his wife and loved ones, on February 3, 2017 at the age of 93.
Born and raised in Dansville, General Albert studied at Cornell University, Hamilton College, and graduated from West Point U.S. Military Academy in 1949. He subsequently received Master’s degrees from the University of Michigan in Aeronautical Engineering and George Washington University in Business Administration.
General Albert led a distinguished Air Force career testing guided missiles and managing space system programs. He was responsible for the Atlas launch vehicle programs for Ranger; which put a camera on the moon, the Mariner; which was this nation's first interplanetary endeavor in the exploration of Venus, and was the launch director for all 12 Gemini launches. All of the Gemini launches were successful, and 20 astronauts were launched into space under General Albert's direction. At Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Directorate of Space, he served successively as Chief, Program Development Division and Policy and Plans Group prior to being named Director of Space. He was then assigned to the Space and Missile Systems Organization of the Air Force Systems Command, at Los Angeles, as the Deputy for Space Defense Systems. General Albert assumed duty as Commandant, Defense Systems Management College, Fort Belvoir, Va. He retired in 1981 as the Commander of Acquisition Logistics Division at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, OH. His decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with oak leaf cluster, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Exceptional Service Medal. He also wore the Master Missileman Badge.
Jack retired to Albert Farm in Amherst County, VA where he and his wife enjoyed a life rich with the love of family and friends, old and new. Together, they enjoyed raising Angus Beef Cattle, horseback riding, and tennis. Devout Catholics, they were originally members of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Lynchburg, VA and remained connected to the parish throughout the years. Jack and Jean were then an integral part in the founding of Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Amherst, VA where they were blessed to become part of the church family and developed lifelong friendships. Jack was well known in Amherst County for his quick wit, spirit of friendship, civic contributions, and his endearing smile. Predeceased by his parents George F. Albert and Clara Coultry Albert, he is survived by his wife of 67 years, the former Jean Lee Love from Burlington, NC; their 10 children; four sons and six daughters, four daughter- in- laws, three son- in- laws, 16 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
A funeral mass was celebrated at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Amherst, VA on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 2 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 332 S Main St, PO Box 663, Amherst, VA 24521.