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KOONTZ MAX A. KOONTZ Max A. Koontz of Columbus, NC, died after a brief illness on Monday, February 13, 2012 in St. Luke's Hospital, Columbus, NC. He was 82. Born in Kannapolis, NC, he was the son of the late Jennings Michael and Grace Thompson Koontz. Mr. Koontz began his service to his country when he enlisted in the U. S. Navy in July, 1948. He served as a Patrol Squadron (VP-27, VP-4) air crewman during the Korean War and was honorably discharged in March 1954. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering in 1960 from North Carolina State University, while also working in the Engineering Research Department. In October 1963, Mr. Koontz began his career as Assistant Reactor Supervisor at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. He moved to the Office of Naval Intelligence in 1965, concentrating on foreign intelligence related to nuclear activities. In 1971 he was the first recipient of the prestigious Edward C. Nielsen award for "the most significant civilian contribution to Naval Intelligence." He accepted a research and development position with the Department of Energy in March 1985, specializing in developing systems and technologies for arms control treaty monitoring. He was selected for the Senior Executive service in 1987 and attained the level of ES-5. Mr. Koontz was Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Energy when he retired from the federal government in 1996. He returned to North Carolina to enjoy his retirement in the mountains. Max's life was defined by his patriotism. Having served his country in a variety of ways, he cared deeply about the security and future of the United States. Though modest in his bearing, he was quietly proud of his military and intelligence service. An engineer at heart, his views on such matters were always practical, rarely political. Family and friends remember Max's love of the outdoors and his dry sense of humor, which was always present. Surviving is his wife of 18 years, Rose Gwynn Koontz; a brother, Kenneth Michael Koontz (Dianne) of North Carolina; two sisters, Gilda Kuhn of North Carolina and Rosemerry Koontz of North Carolina; one son, Michael Koontz of Michigan; four daughters, Christy Heussner (Robert) of Michigan, Sherry Koontz of Maryland, Kathy Koontz of Oregon, and Kelly Koontz (Steven Arabia) of Maryland; grandchildren, Jens Panyard (Desiree), Jennings Alexander Heussner, Olivia and Samuel Arabia; two great-grandchildren, Kamron and Connor Panyard; former wife, Doris Koontz of Michigan; many other relatives and friends. Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m., Friday June 8, 2012 at the Fort Myer Chapel at Arlington National Cemetery. Inurnment at Arlington National Cemetery with Military Honors will follow. In lieu of flowers the family asks that contributions be made to the US Navy Memorial Foundation.In lieu of flowers the family asks that contributions be made to the US Navy Memorial Foundation.
Published in The Washington Post on June 3, 2012