Ollie Joseph Loper
1924 - 2014
Resident of Danville
Ollie Joseph Loper was born July 27, 1924 in Washington County, Alabama to Joseph Edward Loper and Lola Copeland Loper. He attended Auburn University before his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1943 (class of 1947), a noteworthy class that included a U.S. President, CIA head, and two famous Vietnam POWs (one later a senator, the other a vice presidential candidate.)
After graduation in June 1946, Ollie served shipboard followed by a tour in post-war London. He completed pilot training and received his wings in August 1950. Ollie married Mildred Norton of Millry, Alabama in February 1951 and the Navy moved them frequently, including Washington state; Florida; California; Paris, France (where Ollie served on NATO staff); and finally Washington, D.C. When the Navy hand-picked Ollie to attend MIT for his M.S. in Physics, it set in motion his unique Naval career. Ollie retired from the Navy as a Commander in 1970 and joined Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a senior scientist, moving the family one last time to Danville, California. Millie resumed her career as a high school teacher
, and children Shannon and Larry graduated from San Ramon Valley High and the UC system.
After 20 years at the Lab, Ollie retired (for good!) to enjoy travel, church and family time. He is survived by his wife Millie, daughter Shannon (Dever), son Larry, and five grandchildren. A memorial service will be held Sunday, June 8, 2 p.m. at San Ramon Valley United Methodist Church in Alamo, where Ollie was a very active member for nearly 45 years (and many visitors will remember Ollie being the first one to warmly welcome them to church.) In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Endowment Fund at the church.
As befits his love of the Navy and the influence being an officer had on his entire family, Ollie's final resting place will be the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.