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Leroy Piester

While in high school during the mid-1960s, Lee Piester began machining parts for a group of amateur rocketeers to finance his own rocketry projects. After graduating from West Phoenix High School in 1956, Piester attended Phoenix College and Arizona State University. In 1961, he formed Centuri Engineering Company. Centuri manufactured and sold model rocket kits, accessories, and motors.

Lee sold Centuri to Damon Corporation in 1971. Damon had bought Centuri's largest competitor, Estes a year and a half ealier. Piester remainded as president and CEO of Centuri until late 1976.

In May of 1976, Lee Piester and his wife Betty opened a retail hobby store ("Hobby Bench") in Phoenix, Arizona. There are now three other Hobby Bench stores operating in Phoenix, Glendale, and Prescott, Arizona.

References:

  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (Miscellaneous)
  • Larry Brown and Leroy Piester applied for a patent for a "Recovery Device Ejection Baffle System for Miniature Rockets" on July 21, 1971.
  • Larry Brown and Leroy Piester received a patent for a "Recovery Device Ejection Baffle System for Miniature Rockets" on March 6, 1973.

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