Bernard B. Gragg

Date of Birth

January 21, 1934

Date of Death

October 11, 2007

City of Death

Santa Barbara

Bernard B. Gragg, 73, died Oct 11, 2007 at home after a long illness. He was preceded in death by daughter Lisette Walsh and brother Thomas and is survived by daughter Denise Gragg, grandsons Burt and Josh Gragg, Sam and Jake Walsh, sisters, Eve Herold and Susan Nelson, and long time friend, Candace White.

Barney earned his BA and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford. Attending Stanford on a NROTC scholarship, his summers included training on bases and cruises took him to Europe. In 1955, recently graduated and married, he began his navy career. In Pensacola, he learned to fly planes on aircraft carriers. His service ended in Corpus Christie. Bernard love to fly and continued flying as a member of a flying club.

He moved to Santa Barbara in the early 70’s, to work for General Research Corporation where he contributed to numerous studies of advanced defense technologies. In 1980 he was one of the founders of Toyon Research Corporation, and served as a Vice-President and Director. After retiring from Toyon, which currently has over 140 employees, Bernard continued on the Board of Directors until resigning in early 2007 due to declining health. His technical career was marked by participation in numerous engineering studies, some of national importance, and in the resulting publication of many comprehensive technical reports. His quick grasp of complex technical issues and his superb technical composition skills were well known and appreciated by his peers and co-workers who often sought his guidance.

Barney loved jazz and played the piano in several bands. Along with continuing lessons with Debbie Denke, his favorite summer activity was attending Stanford University Jazz Symposium. He wrote many jazz compositions, accompanied vocalists, and has many friends in the Santa Barbara music community. His intelligence, wit, and generosity will be missed by all who knew him. Donations in his memory may be made to Santa Barbara Vocal Jazz Foundation, P. O. Box 514, Goleta, CA 93116-0514

Ode to Bernardo

Who knew this quiet man?
Who got through the gauntlet of his discern?

Some felt the warmth of his heart,
Heard the laughter of his hidden voice,
Saw the beauty in his dreams,
Who knew that there were songs unsung.

Dwelling in the abstracts of life,
Not moving from his values,
He transposed lives, as he transposed music.

It was hard to read his code,
He knew mine and yours.


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