On Monday, January 7, 2013, Dr. Richard Lewis Longbothum, age 73, of Severna Park, Maryland, passed away peacefully from a long-term heart condition. He was a loving husband and father, a dedicated and skilled electrical engineer, and a devoted and true friend. He is survived by his wife, Deborah, and their four children Heather Little, Heidi Bridle, Trixy Gillespie and Richard McHenry Longbothum, and their seven grandchildren.
He grew up with his brother, Ronald Longbothum, in Mansfield, Pennsylvania and enlisted in the United States Air Force after graduating Mansfield High School in 1957 serving his country, mainly overseas, for five years. He returned from service to pursue his life long passion for knowledge and education by obtaining dual Bachelors degrees in Mathematics and Physics from Mansfield University followed by obtaining his Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering at Penn State University.
While at Penn State, he began his pioneering work in the field of millimeter waves and designed a radiometer that later flew on three space shuttles to measure water vapor to aid in the prediction of atmospheric chemistry. His technical expertise brought him to work at the National Security Agency (NSA) where he began his esteemed 36 year career. Among his many accomplishments and contributions to the electronic warfare community, he served as a SIGINT National Intelligence Officer (SINIO), received the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement related to his work in Desert Storm and received the AOC Pioneer Award for the Technology Hall of Fame in 2009. In his final position at NSA as a Chief Scientist of the Office of Strategic Intelligence Issues, he presented many technical briefings on emerging signal technologies to the Intelligence Community.
Visitations will be held at Barranco & Sons Funeral Home, 495 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park, Maryland from 2pm – 4pm and 6pm – 8pm on Friday, January 11th. A visitation will also be held at Buckheit Funeral Chapel, 637 South Main Street, Mansfield, Pennsylvania from 2pm – 4pm with a service following on Sunday, January 13th.
In lieu of flowers, the family has kindly requested donations to the American Heart Association, Memorials Processing Center, P.O. Box 5216, Glen Allen, VA 23058.