Former Lexington resident and retired Raytheon executive Mike W. Fossier, 87, of Winchester, MA and Newport Beach, CA, died on September 25th at his home in Newport Beach from kidney disease.
Born in New Orleans on March 30, 1928 to the late Thelma (Titus) and Louis Fossier, Mr. Fossier earned a Bachelor of Science from Louisiana State University at age 17, and a Master of Science and a Professional Degree from the California Institute of Technology at ages 18 and 19, respectively. He worked for Raytheon Company from 1950 until his retirement in 1991, then continued as a consultant for Raytheon following his retirement. He was a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Mr. Fossier was named Assistant General Manager, Technical, for Raytheon’s Missile Systems Division in 1959 and became a Vice President in 1965. Considered the “technical guru” of Raytheon’s missile group, his many innovative designs and concepts had significant impact on the evolution of advanced guided missiles. He helped design the guidance systems for the Sparrow and Hawk missiles, and was instrumental in designing the Patriot missile.
In 1957, Mr. Fossier and his wife Donna (Scott) moved to the Sun Valley neighborhood of Lexington, where they lived and raised their family for over 20 years, before moving to the Boston waterfront. Following Donna’s death in 1987, he married Linda Furman of Lexington in 1990. He was a long-time clarinetist for the Lexington Bicentennial Band, which he joined at its inception in 1975. He was also the bandleader and music arranger for the Moonlighters, a 16-piece swing band, which he called “the experience of a lifetime.” He was an avid skier, spending time in Aspen, CO every winter until age 83. An enthusiastic letter writer, he impressed upon his family (and in particular his many grandchildren) his views on the value of higher education and the impact of random events on one’s life.