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Muckley, Wilson of Corporation are dead

Two members of the MIT Corporation, Harold J. Muckley (SB 1939) and Thornton "T" A. Wilson, have died.


Mr. Muckley, 82, a member of the Corporation since 1975, died at his Houston home on April 11. The Johnstown, PA, native received a degree in metallurgy and materials science from MIT.

After spending six years in the steel industry (primarily with Bethlehem, US Steel and Armco), Mr. Muckley worked as an engineer and construction superintendent of the Tennessee Gas Transmission Co. from 1946-50. He then joined the Houston Contracting Co., a pipeline contracting firm, in 1951, where he served as vice president and executive vice president until 1967 and as president and principal owner from 1968-72.

In 1951, Mr. Muckley served as a consultant to the US Department of the Interior's Petroleum Administration for Defense, and from 1968-71 he was a member of the US Department of Transportation's Pipeline Technical Committee. He was also a past president of the Pipeline Contractors Association.

At MIT, Mr. Muckley served on the Auditing Committee and the Visiting Committees for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (twice as chair) and the Department of Ocean Engineering. He was named to the Corporation in 1975, became a Life member in 1985 and a Life Member Emeritus in 1992. Building E40 was renamed the Muckley Building in memory of Mr. Muckley's father, Dwight S. Muckley, in 1991.

Mr. Muckley is survived by his wife of 55 years, Elizabeth; three daughters, Mary Ann Berry of Moraga, CA, Carol Slator of Houston and Jeanie Simmons of Charlotte, NC; a son, Carl of New Orleans; a brother, Robert of Puerto Rico; and nine grandchildren.


Thornton "T" A. Wilson died April 10 at his home in Palm Springs, CA. He first came to MIT as a Sloan Fellow in 1952 and later was named to the Corporation in 1968. Mr. Wilson, a retired chairman of Boeing, endowed two professorships in his name, one in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and one in the Sloan School.

Mr. Wilson, 78, a native of Sikeston, MO, received a degree in aeronautical engineering from Iowa State University in 1943 and a master's degree from Caltech in 1948. He joined Boeing in 1943 and served the company in many capacities -- including vice president, executive vice president, chief executive and chairman of the board -- before retiring in 1987.

He earned many awards and honors and was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1983. Four years later, the Museum of Flight in Seattle named a new 143,000-square-foot gallery after him.

Mr. Wilson was best known for developing and producing the Boeing 757 and 767 airliners, as well as guiding the firm through a reorganization in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when 60,000 workers were laid off. He was also overall project engineer for the B-52 bomber program during the latter stages of its design, and led the proposal team that won Boeing the contract for the Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile. Mr. Wilson is survived by his wife, Grace; two sons, Thornton III of Seattle and Daniel of Newcastle, WA; a daughter, Sarah Parkinson of Enumclaw, WA, and six grandchildren.

A version of this article appeared in the April 21, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 27).

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