Heaven, the final frontier. These are the voyages of Alvin Eugene Hargis, his 79-year mission to honor Jesus, love his family, and enjoy God’s incredible creation. On October 19, 2019, Al boldly left behind the struggles with Parkinson’s disease and confidently entered into the boundless joy and freedom of heaven. Left behind on planet earth to honor his life are his brother Charles, his sister Betty Neufeld, wife Ronna, and their children: David (Elizabeth) Hargis, Becky (Steve) Fitzgerald, Bobby Hargis, Matthew Hargis, Nolan (Jennifer) Hargis, Edwin (Rebecca) Hargis, and Jeremy (Trena) Hargis. Also recalling his legacy are eleven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Little did Houston and Elsie expect that their youngest son’s birth on June 12, 1940, in Brownsville, Texas, would change aerospace engineering for the United States. Earning his high school diploma from Cheyenne Mountain High School, Al continued his preparation for space exploration by earning his B.S. in physics from Colorado State University in 1963.
During this time of training for his future in engineering, Al married his high school sweetheart Judy and raised four children. As with any adventure, disappointments and changes occurred, and the marriage ended in an amicable divorce. Episode II continued with his courtship and subsequent marriage to Ronna in 1971. Ronna’s two sons from her former marriage joined the voyage before the arrival of their youngest son Jeremy. The command of Starship A.E. Hargis was yielded in 1973 to the loving leadership of Jesus Christ when Al repented of his sin and accepted the free gift of salvation that Jesus provided through His substitutionary death and resurrection.
Al’s love of science fiction and space influenced his career choices. He served as the lead engineer for the Space Shuttle Proposal and participated in the Magellan Program for mapping the surface of Venus. His major contribution to that mission was designing the antenna and innovating a method to keep the cables functioning in the rigors of space. The Venus probe antenna he designed has continued to work since its launch in 1989. Additional recognition and awards for his contribution to the aerospace program followed his innovations and success in designs.
While thrilling to the infinity of space, Al still kept his feet on the ground. He enjoyed participating in a variety of sports: football, boxing, downhill skiing, and golf. Hunting allowed him to provide meat for his family while also giving him time to worship the Lord for His incredible creation. These athletic adventures didn’t prevent him from maximizing his creative thinking. Weekly chess games offered new and exciting challenges for a mind that never wanted to rest. However, even that wasn’t enough, so he published a novel as well as a children’s book.
Moving beyond his love of space, Al followed God’s leading that the family needed to be giving. In spite of financial difficulties in providing for his wife and seven children, Al wanted the family to tithe. This was a huge step of trusting God to meet all their needs, but the Lord was faithful to His promises. Al also heartily supported providing Christian education for his children while they lived in Lakewood, Colorado. He made certain that his children were raised in a godly home with Christian morals because heaven truly is the final frontier for all believers.
Both family and friends will celebrate his life on Saturday, October 26, at Westside Baptist Church, 2299 W 2000 N, St. George, Utah, at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to the Valley of Grace Building Fund. Donations may be made at www.vogchurch.org/donate