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William Koster

Posted 2024-07-02 by mhenderson
Published by Today's News Herald on Jun. 30, 2024 -
Lake Havasu City, Arizona -

William Koster, a distinguished mechanical engineer, passed away leaving
behind a legacy of innovation and adventure on June 13, 2024. Born on
June 2, 1933, and raised on a ten-acre citrus grove in Arlington,
California, William moved to Santa Monica during World War II. He
attended Santa Monica College and graduated from University High in
1952. Shortly after, he honorably served in the US Army during the
Korean conflict from March 1953 to March 1955, holding the rank of

William's career in engineering was marked by significant contributions
to the aerospace industry. He worked for both McDonnell Douglas (now
Boeing) and Hughes Aircraft Co., dedicating seventeen years to Hughes
Space and Communications before retiring in 1990. At Hughes, he was
instrumental in mounting TV cameras on the Surveyor Spacecraft, which
made the first soft landing on the moon. He was also a project engineer
on Shuttle-launched spacecraft, carrier structures, and release
mechanisms. Additionally, he played a role in designing the Pioneer
Venus probe that impacted Venus in 1975.

Before his time at Hughes, William worked at McDonnell Douglas Corp. on
the Saturn and Thor programs, spending five years at Vandenberg AFB. He
was later transferred to Long Beach, California, where he contributed as
an interior design engineer on the DC-8, DC-9, and DC-10 aircraft.

In the 1960s, William indulged his passion for speed by racing
hydroplanes and later became involved in model boat racing. His love for
building and flying R/C models led him to become a member of the "Desert
Hawks" and co-found the Havasu Sport Flyers. He was also an avid
computer enthusiast, drawing plans on AutoCAD and teaching the subject
at MCC College for five years.

William's personal interests were as diverse as his professional
accomplishments. He was a devoted member of Alcoholics Anonymous,
maintaining his sobriety since September 14th, 1984. He also had a deep
love for motorcycles, especially his Harley and Triumph.

William leaves behind his granddaughter, Christina Duckworth, and his
great-grandson, David. He is preceded in death by his brother Edwin
Koster, daughter Lynn Duckworth, and his parents, Edwin and Bertie

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