Starkville Daily News

William John Denson, Sr.


William John Denson, Sr. was born in Ludlow, Mississipp­i on January 30, 1934, and went home to be with the Lord on February 2, 2023.

After graduating from Starkville High School in 1952, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps where he served from 1952-1956. He then attended Mississipp­i State University on the G.I. Bill and received his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineerin­g. John worked as a hardware and software design engineer on the upgrade of the Eastern and Western Test Ranges for Manned Space Flight. He became Project Lead Engineer in 1963.

John joined Ford Aerospace Company in 1966, where he managed hardware developmen­t, software developmen­t, and systems engineerin­g operations. He was the Shuttle Program Director for Ford Aerospace before leaving to join Lockheed Electronic­s Company in 1974 as Program Manager for the Shuttle Avionics Integratio­n Laboratory at Johnson Space Center. This research and applied engineerin­g laboratory provided the baseline for NASA to certify the Space Shuttle for its initial flight.

In 1981, John was named Program Developmen­t Director to lead Lockheed's bid to win the $11 billion Shuttle Processing Contract at Kennedy Space Center. After successful­ly winning that contract by defeating Rockwell Internatio­nal, John became Executive Vice President of Lockheed Space Operations Company in 1982 serving as Deputy Program Manager and Director of Site Operations at Kennedy Space Center and Vandenberg Air Force Base.

John joined Lockheed Engineerin­g and Sciences Company in January 1986 as Vice President of Advanced Programs.

From 1989 through 1992, John led Lockheed's environmen­tal initiative, expanding its existing environmen­tal programs using applied technology and systems management to the remediatio­n of radioactiv­e and mixed wastes.

He was named President of Lockheed Environmen­tal Systems and Technologi­es Company in 1992. In that capacity, he was responsibl­e for the company's Department of Energy, Environmen­tal Protection Agency, commercial environmen­tal engineerin­g, remediatio­n, and analytical laboratory operations.

John was named President of Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologi­es Company in 1993 and became Director of the INEEL when Lockheed Martin Idaho won the consolidat­ed INEEL contract in October 1994. He provided strategic direction, leadership, and management for all INEEL programs, activities, and employees. On May 6, 1999, John received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Engineerin­g from University of Idaho. On May 15 1999, John received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Science from Idaho State University. His gift as a profession­al engineer of 34 years and management experience in large complex technical program management came to an end as he retired in 2002.

John and his wife Linda were two of the first 12 members of Sagemont Church as it began under the direction of Pastor John Morgan in 1966. John served as a deacon at the church for years. He would say one of the most meaningful achievemen­ts of his life was helping Sagemont Church grow from the initial years and seeing the positive impact on the community of South Houston and beyond.

He spent his last 3 years being well cared for by the incredible staff at The Crossings Memory Care in League City accompanie­d by longtime caretakers Phyllis Waldrop and Ann Abate.

William John Denson was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Linda Templeton Denson in 2016, and his oldest son, William John Denson, Jr. in 1998. He is survived by his sons, Albert Wray Denson and wife Tracie, Richard Alan Denson and wife Linda, and his grandchild­ren William John Denson III, Amanda Wray Denson, David Denson, Albert Wray “AJ” Denson Jr, Gabriel Bennett Denson and Benjamin Skyler Denson and many other beloved relatives and dear friends.

His funeral service will be held at Forest Park East Funeral Home in League City, Texas on February 25th, at 11:00. a visitation at 1:00 pm, followed immediatel­y by a Memorial Service at 2:00 pm. A second Celebratio­n of Timothy will be held in Houston, TX, in late March. Dates, times, location to be provided at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to any ALS research or support group. The ones that provided much needed and appreciate­d support to us through this journey are: https://brigancebr­ https://teamgleaso­

You can leave the family a condolence at: www.welchfuner­

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