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William T Piper Jr "Flys West"

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Former Owner and Admin
Dec 27, 2004
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William T. Piper Jr., scion of the aircraft family that made the Piper Cub world famous, died Aug. 24, 2007 at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. He was 95.

He was a resident of Marco Island, Fla., and spent summers in Lock Haven and Coudersport.

In early aviation history, William T. Piper Jr. ranked with such luminaries as Howard Hughes, Gen. James Doolittle, Glenn Martin and Donald Douglas.

A pioneer in general aviation, Bill Jr. upon his graduation from Harvard University in 1934, joined the company founded by his father William T. Piper Sr. He became president in 1968 when the company's worldwide sales reached $96 million annually. In 1970, he was named chairman of the board, by which time Piper had manufactured 86,000 planes, many of them during World War II when many of the planes and pilots did heroic service as spotters of enemy artillery. He remained chairman until 1973 when the company was sold and moved to Vero Beach, Fla.

Mr. Piper was born in Sharpsburg, Pa., on Sept. 8, 1911, the eldest of five children of William Thomas Piper Sr., a civil engineer, and Marie Van de Water Piper.

He represented his company as an officer and director of the Aircraft Industries Association and served as a director of Utility Aircraft Council of the AIA. When general aviation manufacturers decided to break away from the large airline and military manufacturers, he helped organize the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

He was awarded distinguished service awards from Utility Aircraft Council, the General Aircraft Manufacturers Association and Wings Club of New York. He was a member of the Newcomen Society, an international organization for the study of the history of engineering and technology and was its guest of honor in 1970.

Bill was a quietly gregarious, humble, and giving man. He had a broad civic interest and along with other members of his family, and through the Piper Foundation they established, he helped to support educational, recreational and cultural projects and facilities that benefit public health.

He did much to set high standards for the quality of life in Lock Haven and Clinton County. The Piper Foundation continues contributions to local organizations and college scholarships for local students. In recent years he helped establish the Piper Aviation Museum in Lock Haven.

Mr. Piper was involved with the following organizations: Trinity Methodist Church, Bald Eagle Athletic Foundation, Lock Haven University, Lock Haven YMCA, Lock Haven Hospital, Lock Haven Historic Society, Annie Halenbake Ross Library, Lock Haven Chamber of Commerce, West Branch Valley Flood Protection Assn., director of Commonwealth Bank, The Quite Birdman and Piper Aviation Museum.

An avid fisherman and golfer most of his life, he belonged to the Spruce Creek Rod and Gun Club, Clinton Country Club and Island Country Club.

Preceding him in death was his first wife, Margaret Bush.

He is survived by his wife of 26 years, the former Elizabeth Wilson Talley and three children, George, William and Drew Piper; four grandchildren, Katherine, William, Nicholas and Benjamin; a sister, Mary Piper Bolles of San Francisco, and two sisters-in-lw, Helen Wann Piper of Wichita, Kans., and True Talley Fisher of Bellefonte. Many beloved nieces and nephews also survive.

The funeral will be at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Piper Aviation Museum, 1 Piper Way, Lock Haven, Pa. Friends may call at the museum from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services Wednesday.

Private interment will be held at the convenience of the family at the Piper Mausoleum, Highland Cemetery, Lock Haven.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Piper Aviation Museum, 1 Piper Way, Lock Haven, Pa. 17745, or the Piper Foundation, c/o Mrs. John Bert, 516 Mawman Ave., Lake Bluff, Ill. 60044.

Arrangements are being handled by the Yost-Gedon Funeral Home, 121 W. Main St., Lock Haven, Pa. 17745




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