Oct. 15, 1933 - Jul. 7, 2019
Resident of Los Altos
Don was a devoted husband, father, and renowned scientist/engineer. Born in Harvey, North Dakota. In 1960, he married Suzanne Dimm. An alumnus of Santa Clara University, he received his M.S. from Carnegie-Mellon, and his Ph.D. from Stanford University, all in electrical engineering.
His Ph.D. dissertation was one of the first in the field of artificial neural networks. His pioneering work in this field resulted in important applications in medicine and aerospace. Don co-founded R2 Technology, a company dedicated to using neural networks for the detection of cancer in mammograms and other medical imaging modalities. Don spent over 20 years of his career as a Senior Scientist at Lockheed Martin. He twice received the Lockheed Robert E. Gross Award for Technical Excellence. He has been granted over 60 patents and received the IEEE CIS Neural Networks Pioneer Award in 2006. After retiring from Lockheed, Don and his son David co-founded MAUI Imaging, Inc. which is dedicated to state-of-the-art medical imaging.
While his career accomplishments are impressive, he loved to travel throughout the world, go for long walks around the golf course, play Bocce Ball through S.I.R.S., care for his wonderful family, and play card games.
Don is preceded in death by his wife, Suzanne and parents Frank and Irene. He is survived by his children, David Specht, Robyn and grandsons Joe, Nick and Zach, and Lisa Swarbrick, her husband Tom and granddaughters Kelly and Grace. He is also survived by his brother Fr. Joseph Specht.
Friends and family are invited to attend a rosary service at Spangler Mortuary, 399 S. San Antonio Road in Los Altos on Wed. July 17th at 7pm. The funeral service will be held on Thursday, July 18th at noon at St. William Parish located at 611 S. El Monte Road, Los Altos.