(On this date, August 18, 2014, the Osborne County Hall of Fame is pleased to present to the world the second of the five members of the new OCHF Class of 2014)
William Henry Coop was born in Portis, Osborne County, Kansas on May 22, 1935. The son of Henry and Dorothy (Hoel) Coop, William moved around quite a lot in his life, living in Oregon, Washington, California, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas in addition to Kansas.
He spent the majority of his career in several prestigious aerospace industry leadership roles before co-founding the Entronics Corp of Dallas, Texas in 1984 with his wife, Nora (Adams) Coop. The couple were also certified commercial pilots who raised two children, William and Kathryn.
William’s aerospace achievements peaked in the 1970s when he led the team of engineers responsible for the design and deployment of the soil sampling equipment for NASA’s two Viking Explorer spacecraft that successfully landed on Mars in 1975. William’s name is engraved on plaques attached to both Viking Landers, which still remain today on the surface of the Red Planet.
In later years the Coops moved to Camas, Clark County, Washington, where William passed away on June 23, 2012. He was laid to rest in the Fern Prairie Cemetery at Camas, Washington.
SOURCES: Portis Independent newspaper, May 23, 1935 & May 30, 1935; Marge Albright, Downs, Kansas; Straub’s Funeral Home, Camas, Washington (www.straubsfuneralhome.com); http://www.findagrave.com.