Kendall Lee Bleam


Kendall Lee Bleam, 84, passed away on October 22, 2016 in Houston, TX. He was born on August 6, 1932 in Manhattan, KS to Jonathan and May Bleam.


When his nation called, he answered by joining the US Navy and served in the Korean War. After leaving the Navy, Ken started a family and relocated to Houston to join NASA as a flight engineer in Mission Control during the Apollo Space Program.   He later became a part of the training team working with the Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) at Ellington Field.  He was proud of his contribution to the space program and attended many functions after retirement.  Ken always enjoyed building things with his hands, whether fixing small engines or woodworking.  He also enjoyed traveling and camping with his late wife Arlene, as well as with many friends he had made over the years.  Ken had a strong faith and was an active member of the Lutheran church.


Ken is survived by his daughter, Karen Swiggard and her husband Scott, son-in-law, Sonny Metz, sister Barbara Farrell; grandchildren, David Perez and his husband Duane, Paula Metz, Justin Swiggard, Hannah Swiggard, Jenna Lyons and her husband Jeff, Lauren Swiggard and Nicole Swiggard; and numerous family members and friends. Ken is preceded in death by his wife Arlene Bleam and his daughter Jennifer Metz.


Ken discovered love again with JoAnn Duncan and they became engaged earlier this year. He welcomed her extended family his life, including her children: Linda Stevens, Michael Olivier, Jackie Arrington, Janice Olivier, Kevin Duncan, and Teri Canal, and a number of grandchildren.


A memorial will be held on October 28, 2016 with a viewing from 1:00 to 2:00 pm, immediately followed by a service at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, and graveside service at 3:30 pm at Forest Park East.



Gloria Dei Lutheran Church

18220 Upper Bay Rd.

Houston, TX 77058


Forest Park East Cemetery

21620 Gulf Freeway

Webster, TX 77598



  1. Ken, you were such an important part of our life… You are an amazing man I love how you love my mom and all of her children and grandchildren..we are such better people for having you in our lives….even though our time with you in our life was shorter then we ever wanted you will forever be in my heart and prayers, I love you dad forever

    janice olivier
  2. Ken was a pleasure to be around. He was full of wisdom, kindness and love. We spent time together usually talking about his grandkids, his days at NASA and love of hard work. I am better for having known him.

    Nicholas Moy
  3. So sorry I missed the service. Ken was a great part of the Lockheed Martin/Ford Aerospace STA Team Family. It was a pleasure to work with you Ken!

    Steve Hester

    Steven Hester
  4. Sorry not hearing about Kendall’s passing sooner! Enjoyed visiting ken and Arlene a few years back in Topeka Ks —Don Bleam-half brother

    Don Bleam

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