Willard Royal Mumford (1933 - 2018)

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August 1,1933 – June 4, 2018 Willard Royal Mumford, a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel and Professor of Engineering, died June 4, 2018 at the age of 84. Will was born in McMinnville, Oregon on August 1, 1933, and moved to Annapolis, Maryland in 1944 when his father was assigned to the Naval Academy as a professor of Electrical Engineering. Will graduated from Germantown Elementary School and Annapolis High School where he served as president of the class of 1951. He was active in the Boy Scouts and obtained the rank of Eagle Scout. After graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in Education, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He graduated as a distinguished graduate from Air Force Navigator's School and served as an instructor in the Military Airlift Command's Navigation School. He was selected to participate in the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) program graduating with honors from Southern Methodist University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After serving as a maintenance officer for fighter aircraft, he was again selected for the AFIT program where he obtained a master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A & M University. After a tour of duty in Phan Rang, Republic of South Vietnam, he was assigned to the Systems Engineering Division at Hill AFB, Utah. He was next assigned as Professor of Aerospace Studies at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. He ended his Air Force career as Deputy Director of the Electromagnetic Compatibility Analysis Center in Annapolis. Will served as the Chair of the Engineering and Technologies Division at Anne Arundel Community College from 1981 to 1993. At AACC he established the first chapter of Tau Alpha Pi, the national honor society for engineering technologies, at a community college in the state of Maryland. He was also elected president of the Maryland Association for Higher Education. Will was known for his innovative programs, originating the UPREACH Program, an orientation for minority students in Engineering and Technical careers; a chapter of Junior Engineering and Technical Society (JETS); Tech Ed, an after school program for high school students; Career Awareness Program; Engineering Educator's Partnership Program with Westinghouse and the Anne Arundel County public schools; the Great Anne Arundel County Paper Airplane Flying contest; and Egg drop contests. Will also served as a member of the president's Advisory Board at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and numerous review boards for the National Science Foundation. In 1993, Will was appointed to serve as Director of Advanced Technology at Chesapeake College, where he revamped their technical educational programs and initiated action to have Chesapeake College designated as an Advanced Technology Center. He retired from education in 1995. Will served as president of the Ann Arrundell County Historical Society from 1988 to 1994. During this time the society developed the concept of making the property of the Benson-Hammond House an Interpretive Truck Farm, acquired the Kiethe Library, and initiated the annual Strawberry Festival. He was District Chairman for the Capitol District Boy Scouts of America; a member and director of the Annapolis Rotary Club; president of the Maryland State Numismatic Association, the Colonial Coin Club, the Utah Numismatic Society, and the Chesapeake Chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association. He served for over 20 years as the editor of the Civil War Token Society journal and from 1988 to 2017 as the editor of the Maryland Tokens and Medals Society Journal. Will enjoyed making presentations to community groups and made over 400 presentations on various subjects, mostly on Maryland history and numismatics. For many years, Will was an active volunteer in local archaeological programs. In 2003, Will found a rare Chalmers' three pence at an archeological dig at 10 Cornhill Street; believed to be the workshop of the Annapolis colonial silversmith, John Chalmers. In his "retirement" Will authored "Strawberries, Peas and Beans; Truck Farming in Anne Arundel County," "Barter, Bits, Bills and Tobacco; The Story of Money in Early Maryland" and the soon to be published "The First 100 Years: The First Presbyterian Church of Annapolis, Maryland." Will served as the Chairman of the Anne Arundel County Trust of Preservation from 1999 to 2017 and coordinated the History Lecture series at St. John's College. He also taught a course of the History of Anne Arundel County at Annapolis and South County Senior Centers through Anne Arundel Community College. Will was a member of Tau Beta Pi, Tau Alpha Pi, Sigma Tau, Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Tau Sigma academic honor societies. Will also served as an Elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Annapolis. Will is survived by his wife of 62 years, Elaine Lineback Mumford, daughter Laura Mumford of Baltimore, daughter Amy Sirotek and her husband Robert of Ottawa, Canada, and son David Mumford and his wife Eileen of Millersville, Maryland; five grandchildren: Thomas, Andrew, and William Mumford, and Amanda, and Megan Sirotek; and his sister Dorothy Mumford of Annapolis. He was pre-deceased by his parents Edgar Royal and Violet Mumford, sister Kay Cave and brother Charles Mumford. A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Annapolis, Maryland on Saturday, June 16, 2018, at 2 pm. The family suggests in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to the First Presbyterian Church, the Human Rights Campaign Fund or Hospice of the Chesapeake.
Published in The Capital Gazette on June 10, 2018
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