Dixie Rinehart | AspenTimes.com

Dixie Rinehart

July 28, 1938 — April 10, 2019

Dixie Rinehart, one of eight people named on the patent for the Apollo spacesuit, departs body for his own heavenly travels.

Starting his career at Edwards Air Force Base in southern California, Dixie trained and worked in the development of high altitude flight and equipment. That experience led to an assignment with North American Aviation, where he did studies in the Apollo Program’s crew performance simulations and produced waste collection assemblies. He then became a team member at ILC Industries in Delaware, where he developed the spacesuit and gloves for NASA’s first space missions. Later, while living in Aspen, he designed gloves for space shuttle trips, the ski industry, hunting, work, motorcycling and the military, as well as diverse products including a pinball machine, electronically warmed ski boot insoles, athletic shoes, and the Raichle Flexon ski boot.

He also kept busy with an unusual array of personal pursuits from clowning, acting, directing and playwriting to making traditional Native American clothing, instruments and tipis, restoring his 1961 Lincoln Continentals, and performing and writing tunes on the bagpipes. Throughout his life, Dixie reveled in the cultural exploration of travel as well as entertaining friends met at destinations including Las Vegas, Scotland, Korea, Japan, Mexico, Canada and Hawaii. He was supported in all activities by loving wife Carol as they raised three children and led a ceremonial life in the Native American Church and Northern Cheyenne traditional ways.

Their final home was a 140-acre spread in Colona, Colorado with pinon and juniper trees and an incredible view of the Cimarron Mountains. A large, comfortable log cabin, surrounded by historic Ute camping sites, elk and deer, became a retreat for family and friends and a magical place to enjoy his retirement.