Memorial Page

Daniel Axel Simmons
March 5, 1955 - August 25, 2022

Our friend and Boeing colleague, Daniel Axel Simmons passed away from a massive heart attack on Thursday August 25th, 2022. He was 67. He founded the Boeing Lab Rat Alumni Facebook Group page.

In June of 2016, Axel and I both decided to take the VLO early retirement option and threw a big retirement party at Odlins. We then started to arrange monthly Boeing Lab Rat Alumni lunches and kept us all connected through our Facebook Group. We would occasionally meet at our old stomping ground, Loretta’s for random get together lunches.

Axel and I spent many decades working in the Structural Test Labs at The Boeing Developmental Center as Instrumentation Engineers. There were many stories, but the one that sticks out the most about his character was when we were about to have an imminent explosion of a test article. Time was of the essence and quick decisions had to be made. I yelled, “Where’s the manual exhaust valve” and Axel sprang into action, running next to the test article only to come to a purposely locked access door. He then found his way outside, finding a ladder and opened the large exhaust valve! Just in the nick of time, as the article pressure immediately decreased. Many lessons were learned from that test, as it was found a washer (FOD) had worked itself into the airstream and blocked an inlet valve. After the incident, a wide-eyed Axel came back to the control room with applause. He then realized how he put himself in danger. But it was his test and he knew what to do! saving who knows what would of happened.

Axel spent several years running 24/7 fatigue tests on 3rd shift. He was always innovative on third shift. 😉 We didn’t have the “budget” to repaint the aging Test Control Balcony at the DC. The ceiling was stained from many air conditioning leaks. One morning I came in, and he’s repainted the whole room! I asked him, “How?”. It was then, I knew to never ask Axel, “How?”. We had several “midnight requisitions” additions to our rocking control room. He brought in these large JBL studio monitor speakers from surplus and hung them from the ceiling, paired to my Dynaco Amplifier from WSU!! They were officially, Acoustic Monitors to listen to sounds test articles would make during testing! At all other times they rocked! 😃
It was during one of these long, couple weeks in a row shift that Axle suffered his first heart attack. It was then I became a big proponent of unattended remote test monitoring for third shift. I worked several months of third-shift’s myself, and it does put so much extra stress on your body, physically and mentally.

Axel then took over the “new” control balcony on the other side of the high-bay, even abandoning his desk in the office area! An early webmaster, he was also the safety and 5’s focal. You could always count on Axel wearing his Pittsburgh shirt whenever playing the Seahawks.

When Gail came back into Axel’s life, he was like a new man. He enjoyed entertaining and getting out more! I was honored to both video and photograph their wedding.

We will miss you Axel, for your humor and friendship.


Jeanne Marie (Brown) Atencio
October 19th, 1953 - January 19th, 2021

Lee Franta
July 3, 1959 - January 11, 2020


On Saturday March 1st, 2020, we celebrated the life of our Boeing friend and colleague, Lee Franta. He left us too soon, not even making it to the fruits of retirement.  It was a lovely afternoon held on the waterfront at Brown’s Point. The place was packed. It brought it home when someone spoke and asked will all the people that worked with Lee at Boeing please raise your hand. The place lit up with 80 to 90 percent of the people there!! The family was overwhelmed, wondering earlier in the week how many people would actually show up. 

Lee was a famed Scotch drinker, so his sister brought about two dozen bottles from his cabinet. Not much of a Scotch drinker, but these were some fine Whiskies!!!! (Glad Onustack wasn’t there!) We shared stories, but the most common thread was about how engaging he was to everyone he met. Sharing travel stories and always asking me what concert will I be at this week!  He was a gentle giant and a great asset to Boeing. He worked with my testing team and never did I have to give him an assignment. As he always brought in his own work, from all the people that knew and trusted his Instrumentation skills. 
We loved and will miss you my friend. Rest in Peace.

James Patrick Wallace
July 6, 1943 - May 20th, 2018

James Patrick Wallace
James (Jim), 74, of Kent, WA passed away on Sunday, May 20, 2018. Jim was born July 6, 1943 in Portland, OR to Woodrow and Marguerite. Jim graduated from David Douglas HS and then earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Oregon State University. He moved to Seattle to join Boeing where he worked for 43 years before retiring as an expert on strain gauges and the title of Technical Fellow. 

Jim married Bonnie Linstedt in June of 1967 and spent over 50 wonderful years of love and faith together. Jim was an avid supporter of the OSU Beavers and Seattle sports teams. He enjoyed trout fishing, gardening and the stock market. He will be remembered for his kindness, generosity, leadership and support as a husband, father, grandfather, coach and friend.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, and his brothers Robert and John. He is survived by his wife Bonnie; sister Jane Campbell (Merle); brother Jeff; daughter Cynthia Duncan (Matthew); sons Brian (Kathy), Michael, and Matthew (Julie); and his eight grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jim’s name to the St. Columba’s Memorial Garden Project:
Please sign Jim’s online Guestbook at

A memorial service was held Friday, June 22nd at noon at
St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, Kent, WA 98032

Jack Chavey
William Clarke
Dennis Carl Czajka
Aug 17, 1939 –
Sept 24, 2006

Martin Estergreen
Robert Finigan  
Jim Gertis
William Gilcrease

Robert Helling



Paul Ingram

Ron Kriekenbeck


Larry Larsen

Daniel C Larson
Michael J Lavender
“Digger” O’Dell
John Nicholas Schneider
August 26, 1949 
April 26, 2017
Jim Sellers
March 16, 2017

 James P. Wallace