Leonard Eugene Orsak, longtime resident of Los Altos, died on October 23, 2013, at the age of 78. Leonard moved from Deming, New Mexico, to the Bay Area to pursue a master’s degree in electrical engineering at Stanford University and to work in a co-op program at Stanford Research Institute. At SRI, he met the love of his life, Marjorie Lucas, to whom he was married for 50 years. Leonard and Marjorie had four children, Michael, Kara, Sari and Amy, whom they raised in Los Altos, where Leonard lived for 48 years.
Leonard was born on November 5, 1934, in Deming, New Mexico, the fifth child of Mary Anna Lukas Orsak and Cyril Paul Orsak Sr. Raised as a hard working farm boy, he graduated from Deming High School, where he lettered in football and was a Boy Scout and a member of the National Honor Society. He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from New Mexico State University, while working at White Sands Missile Range. After moving to the Bay Area and completing his master’s degree at Stanford, Leonard enjoyed a career in engineering in Silicon Valley. He pioneered in the development of uninterruptible power supplies for mainframe computers, as well as designed electronics for satellites, seismology and wind power, at companies including Develco, Programmed Power, Franklin Electric, Liebert, Emerson Electric and U.S. Wind Power. He was also a graduate of the Program for Management Development at Harvard University. He truly loved engineering and felt fortunate to have found such a fulfilling career.
Throughout his life, and especially in his retirement, he passionately pursued woodworking and gardening. He was a man of great intellect and kindness and was a devoted and loving husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by three children, Michael Colby Orsak and his wife Shirley Chu Orsak of Menlo Park, Dr. Kara Orsak and her husband Dr. Kary Karahadian of Fresno, and Amy Orsak Hurlbut and her husband Robert Satterlee Hurlbut of San Francisco. He is survived by his six grandchildren, Nicole and Megan Orsak, Lucas and Benjamin Karahadian, and Byron and Lucy Hurlbut. He is survived also by his sister, Anna Orsak Sloan of Deming, New Mexico. He was predeceased by his wife Marjorie and daughter Sari and brothers Joe, Cyril Jr., and John.
A celebration of Leonard’s life was held in Los Altos on November 3. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to New Mexico State University College of Engineering to support scholarships for future engineers (at http://fndforms.nmsu.edu/giving.php by selecting Electrical and Computer Engineering Scholarship).