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LENIHAN, WILLIAM S., JR. - age 91, of Oak Ridge, died peacefully on Thursday, January 30, 2014. He was born in 1922 in Boston, MA. Mr. Lenihan attended Boston Latin High School and Tufts University prior to WWII. He was one of the original engineers working on the Manhattan Project at Columbia University at the very inception of the project. He came to Oak Ridge in 1943 as a young engineer and helped design and build the massive K-25 Gaseous Diffusion Plant. He married his fiancée, Christine, in 1946. In the late 50's, he was transferred by Union Carbide to Ohio facilities. In Cleveland, he worked on fuel cell technology for the Apollo and Gemini NASA projects developing several metal patents.In 1968, Union Carbide transferred Bill and his family back to Oak Ridge where four of his five children graduated. Chris also taught for many years at Oak Ridge High School. He received a M.S. in Finance from University of Tennessee and became an analyst for the Plans Division of Union Carbide in the early 70's. He retired in 1995. Mr. Lenihan was a long-time member of St. Mary's Catholic Church where he was a leader of the Knights of Columbus and served in many volunteer capacities. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Christine; his sister, Dorothy; two sons, Dr. William S. Lenihan, III and wife Marla and Dr. Daniel J. Lenihan and wife Merle; three daughters, Kathy Kluk and husband Tony, Terry Lenihan Pryor and husband Robert and Trish J. Lenihan Higgins and husband Gavin. The family will receive friends on Sunday, February 2, 2014 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. at Weatherford Mortuary. The funeral mass is Monday at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church. The burial will follow at Oak Ridge Memorial Park. The family requests that any memorials be made to St. Mary's Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, 323 Vermont Ave., Oak Ridge, TN 37830 or to Habitat for Humanity, 111 Randolph Rd., Oak Ridge, TN 37830. Weatherford Mortuary is in charge of the arrangements. An online guest book can be signed at
Funeral Home
Weatherford Mortuary
158 S Jefferson Cir Oak Ridge, TN 37830
(865) 482-2464
Published in Knoxville News Sentinel on Feb. 1, 2014
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