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1932 Thomas 2022

Thomas David Cooper

April 7, 1932 — January 22, 2022

Vandalia, Ohio

Thomas David Cooper

Age 89, of Vandalia, passed away Saturday, January 22, 2022.  Tom was born April 7, 1932, in Dayton, son of Arnold Leroy and Edna Catherine Guthrie Cooper.  He was a 1950 graduate of Kiser High School in old North Dayton, where he met and later married his late wife of 51 years, Katherine Ann Ambrose Cooper, who passed away in 2004.  He graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a BS in Metallurgical Engineering and later The Ohio State University with an MS in Metallurgical Engineering.  He was a Captain in the US Air Force and a USAF Reserve officer.

Mr. Cooper was Senior Program Manager for Universal Technology Corporation (UTC), Dayton, Ohio. Before joining UTC in February, 1995, he retired from his position as Chief, Systems Support Division, Materials Directorate, Wright Laboratory (now Air Force Research Laboratory), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio after 39 years with the U. S. Air Force, including two years as an Air Force Officer. A Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Ohio, he specializes in all aspects of aerospace metallurgical engineering and the application of materials in operational aerospace systems, including nondestructive evaluation (NDE), failure analysis, specifications and standards, materials selection and manufacturing. He is widely recognized throughout the aerospace community and is a Fellow of both ASM International (ASM) and the American Society of Nondestructive Testing (ASNT). He is also an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He retired on October 1, 2014.

Mr. Cooper has had broad experience working in the area of research, development, manufacturing and application of new and advanced aerospace materials. This includes their use in a wife variety of new and operational systems, including working with the maintenance depots and operational commands, and in managing the organizations involved in that work.

Mr. Cooper has been very active in materials development for many years, participating on National Materials Advisory Board (NMAB) panels, Chairman of many of the major Committees of national technical organizations, Chairman of the Aerospace Materials Division of the Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAE).

Mr. Cooper was involved in representing the USAF in a number of international activities, such as serving for many years as the U. S. Delegate to NATO AC/82 “Group of Experts on the Conversion of U. S. Aerospace Materials Specifications.” He served as the U. S. Air Force Principal on Data Exchange Agreements with the governments of Italy and Israel. He was a U. S. member on the Technical Cooperation Panel (TTCP), a United States/United Kingdom activity and served on Panel P-4 “Methods of Testing and Evaluation” and on an Ad Hoc Panel on “Acoustic Emission Phenomena in Materials.” These activities involved the selective exchange of technical information with other countries in the materials and processes area, including frequent travel to many foreign countries to participate in meetings and exchange technical information.

Mr. Cooper was a Register Professional Engineer in the State of Ohio. He has made numerous presentations throughout the U. S. and many other countries.

Mr. Cooper has been honored by being selected as a Fellow of ASM International, a Fellow of ASNT and an Associate Fellow of AIAA. He received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater, the College of Engineering, University of Cincinnati in 1972 and was named one of the Dayton Area’s Outstanding Engineers and Scientist by the Affiliate Societies Council of Dayton in 1990. He was recognized by the Senate of the State of Ohio for receiving this award. He was honored by being selected to present ASNT’s 1991 Mehl Honor Lecture during the Society’s 50th Anniversary Conference in Boston. In 1991, he received SAE’s Franklin w. Kolk Air Transportation Progress Award and in 1992 was presented SAE’s Arch T. Colwell Cooperative Engineering Gold Medal recognizing his outstanding work and leadership in developing aerospace standards and specifications. He was made an Honorary Member of SAE’s Aerospace Materials Division in 1995. He is also a Life Member of ASM International. He has been presented the Air Force Systems Command’s Certificate of Merit and the Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the highest civilian award presented by the Air Force Systems Command (now the Air Force Materiel Command). He was an Air Force Level III Certified Acquisition Professional.

Mr. Cooper has been listed in American Men and Women of Science, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in American, Who’s Who in the Midwest, Who’s Who in Aviation, the Dictionary of International Biography Who’s Who in Government, Men of Achievement, Who’s Who in Ohio, Who’s Who in Technology, Who’s Who in Aviation and Aerospace: U. S. Edition (Jane’s), America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals, International Who’s Who in Engineering and Cambridge Who’s Who.

At his retirement from Federal Service in January 1995 after working for the Air Force for 39 years, he received letters of appreciation and congratulations from Governor George Voinovich of the State of Ohio and from U. S. President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary. He was presented with a flag of the United States that was flown for him over the United States Capital in Washington DC at the request of the Honorable Tony P. Hall, Member of Congress.

In non-technical activities, he is a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, Millennium Lodge No. 779 (formerly Conservancy Lodge No. 661), Free and Accepted Masons (F&AM) of Ohio, the First Baptist Church of Dayton, Ohio and holds a Commission as Colonel in the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. He is a retired U. S. Air Force Reserve Officer. He was born and raised in downtown Dayton and attended Kiser High School in old North Dayton. He graduated in 1950 and was elected and served as the President of his class. He is one of the founding members of the Kiser High School Alumni Associations (KHSAA). He served as the first treasurer of the Organization and has remained very active since its formation. In April 2005, he was significantly recognized by being added to the KHSAA Roll of Honor. He is also a founding member of the Air Force Materials and Manufacturing Alumni Association (AFMMAA) and served as the first Executive Vice-President.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Arnold Richard Cooper.

He is survived by his daughter Theresa Deborah Cooper, son Michael Bruce Cooper and wife Abbot Stevenson of Athens OH and their daughters Marshall Katherine Cooper (Caleb Spencer) and Mira Ambrose Cooper, of Columbus OH and son Stephen Jeffrey Cooper and wife Jane Marie Bergmayer and sons Zachary Alexander Bergmayer and Adam Stephen Bergmayer Cooper, all of Phoenix AZ.

The family will be receiving friends from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., Sunday, January 30, at Morton & Whetstone Funeral Home, 139 S. Dixie Dr., Vandalia. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday (1/31) at the funeral home with John Seagraves officiating. Interment with military honors will follow at Poplar Hill Cemetery in Vandalia. In lieu of flowers, contributions should be made in memory of Tom to the American Cancer Society.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas David Cooper, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, January 30, 2022

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Morton & Whetstone Funeral Home

139 South Dixie Drive, Vandalia, OH 45377

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Monday, January 31, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Morton & Whetstone Funeral Home

139 South Dixie Drive, Vandalia, OH 45377

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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