Aug 29, 1918 – Nov 30, 2016
Henry Oman lived a full life of 98 years when he passed away on Wednesday 30 November 2016. Henry was born 29 August 1918 in Portland, OR, to Paul Oman and Mary (Levonen) Oman, who had come from Finland. As a child of immigrant parents, he learned to speak Finnish in the home and learned English at school. He attended Tualatin Grade School. He graduated from Milwaukie High School in 1936 and from Oregon State Agricultural College (now University) in 1940 with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering.
His first job was with Allis Chalmers in Milwaukee, WI, from 1940 to 1948, propulsion machinery for submarines and Destroyer Escorts during the war. While in Milwaukee, he met and married Winifred Eleanor Potter on June 17, 1944. They moved to Seattle in 1948 where Henry had accepted a job with Boeing. Winifred passed away in November 1950. Boeing sent Henry on detail with General Electric to Lynn, MA in 1954. While in Lynn, MA he met and married Earlene Mary Boot. They married on September 11, 1954, in Lynn, during Hurricane Edna. He and Earlene moved back to Seattle, where they built a home in Normandy Park, WA in 1954.
Henry was a Research Engineer for Boeing from 1948-1963, and an Engineering Manager 1963-1991. In 1951 he earned his Master’s in Electrical Engineering from Oregon State College through correspondence courses. In 1964 he received a prize for a paper written in American Institute of Electrical Engineers. He has contributed numerous papers to various professional journals over the years. In 1981 he was a member of a team that restarted amateur radio communication to the outside world from the People’s Republic of China. He was a Fellow of IEEE ; founder power electronics systems conference (1970-), Vice President Aerospace and Electronics Systems Society (1984-88), Harry Mimno award 1989, Third Millenium medal 2000, editor-in-chief Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine (1995-99) (when it was rated in the top two by the Institute for Science Information). He was an Associate Fellow of AIAA, and a member of AAAS (past board director of the Pacific Division).
Henry retired from Boeing in 1990, at the age of 72, after a 50-year career working with airplanes, solar cells, batteries, and as a research engineer for military, space, and aeronautical contracts. His achievements include development of concepts for solar power satellite, which generates power in geo-synchronous orbit 24 hours per day and beams it to the Earth’s surface with a microwave beam, and research in simple battery-powered electric bicycles for low-cost, pollution free transportation in developing nations. He is the author of Energy Systems Engineering Handbook, 1986, and co-author of Electric Bicycles, a Guide to Design and Use, 2005.
Henry joined Highline United Methodist Church 1948 where he was welcomed by Bob and Juanita Simpson, and he welcomed Don and Dee Zwicky in 1953. The Omans, Simpsons, and Zwickys did many activities together. Henry was a Boy Scout leader for Troop 392 where he helped many boys earn the Amateur Radio and Bicycle merit badges. He was active in Boeing Employees Amateur Radio Club (BEARS) and Highline Amateur Radio Club (HARC). He was also a member of The Mountaineers, and was active at their Snoqualmie ski lodge. HHH iHiHhHHe enjoyed physical activities of all kinds including bicycling, backpacking, swimming, camping, kayaking (klepper), and jogging. He swam into his 90’s. He and Earlene visited all seven continents during their world travels.
Henry was preceded in death by his parents, and wife Winifred. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Earlene; daughters Mary Janet Moloney (Steven) of Seattle and Eleanor Eva Oman (Gerald Baker) of Ketchikan, Alaska, and son Eric Paul Oman (Violet) of Lake St. Louis, MO; and eight grandchildren, Devon (Carmen) Oman, Tiffany Moloney, Kristofer (Kelci) Oman , Talus Moloney, Kelly Oman (Ryan Scheidt), Mary Baker, Maxim Moloney, and Richard Oman.
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