Alfred ‘Al’ Gregory Orillion
Alfred (“Al”) Gregory Orillion passed from this life after 85 years on July 3, 2014. He was preceded in death by his loving wife Betty Roberts Orillion, his parents George and Elida J. Orillion, and sisters Marguerite Orillion, Genevieve O. Thibodeaux, and Jeanne O. St. Raymond. He is survived by his sister Yvonne Orillion Seneca-Foreman and children Nannette (Bernie) Coons, Matthew (Tammy) Orillion, Lise (Peter) Kalla, and Roxy (Brandt) Fincher. He is also survived by eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Al graduated from St Michael Catholic School in 1945 and Crowley High School in 1946. He was a World War II veteran serving as a Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps stationed at Pearl Harbor from 1946 to 1948. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Southwestern Louisiana Institute (SLI) in 1953 and was a licensed Professional Engineer. He is listed in Who’s Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
Al was employed by General Electric, working in CT, MA, ID, and OH in their nuclear energy program. He retired after over twenty years of service to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL where he designed propulsion systems for the Saturn V, the Skylab Space Station, and the Space Shuttle, and was a patent-holding inventor of a monopropellant propulsion system used as an assist unit to augment an astronaut’s jumping ability on the lunar surface. He worked for various government support contractors until his full retirement in the 1990s.
As president of Cheops Engineering, Al designed and built a solar operated water heater system, Pyramidal Energy Collector System, for which he held multiple U.S. patents.
Al was instrumental in petitioning the state of Alabama for a distinctive license plate for the U.S. Marine Corps.
Al remained an active member and held numerous officer roles in several professional and military organizations, including Brandon-Wilbourn Marine Corps League Detachment 820, the American Legion Post 0237, Alabama Society of Professional Engineers, and Alabama Solar Association, for which he was a founder. During his early years in Huntsville he was very active in the Huntsville Jaycees and the Rotary Club.
His funeral will be held on July 8, 2014, in Crowley with visitation at Geesey-Ferguson Funeral Home from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. A Rosary will be recited at 9 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church at 10 a.m. Interment will be at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Orillion family plot in Crowley. Fr. Mikel Polson, pastor of St. Michael Catholic Church, will be officiating for the services. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memoriam to the Alabama Marines Foundation.
Words of comfort may be sent to the family at www.geesey-ferguson.com
Arrangements have been entrusted to Geesey-Ferguson Funeral Home, 301 North Avenue F, Crowley, LA. 70526, 337-783-3313