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William "Bill" Kahn '57 November 22, 2022 12:43 PM updated: November 22, 2022 12:52 PM

William Edward Kahn 

June 22, 1935 - October 19, 2022

Bill died October 19, 2022 in Thousand Oaks, California.  

Bill was a proud 1957 graduate of Texas A & M, married for 65 years to Barbara, both graduates of W.B. Ray High School in Corpus Christi, Texas. He grew up in Colorado Springs before moving to Texas as a teenager. He loved sports, the outdoors and he had a fulfilling career and life. Bill and Barbara raised three children together and enjoyed life in California. Bill had a passion for art, nature, art history, travel and history. Bill and Barbara especially enjoyed their travel throughout Europe and Africa, including the African safaris. Bill also loved his volunteer work over the years.

Bill had a successful career as an engineer. His technical expertise and management skills were essential in testing and validating critical navigation instruments, such as accelerometers and gyroscopes for integration into Northrup Grumman Mission Systems (previously Litton Guidance and Control Systems).

Bill managed a group responsible for conducting instrument tests under severe operational and environmental conditions of temperature, vibration, shock, atmospheric and power variation. The resulting test data was compiled, reduced, analyzed and formatted for Bill’s presentation to senior management for review and validation of conformance to specifications.

Over the years, Bill contributed to the testing and validation of generations of navigation instruments for deployment in military aircraft and ground vehicles, ships and submarines, guided missiles for air to surface and underwater missions. Bill’s later projects involved testing and development of micro-mechanical navigation instruments for NASA space missions such as the Apollo moon landings and the early Mars Rover landings.

Curiosity and Perseverance are the most recent rover vehicles landed on Mars. They continue to be guided autonomously by the same navigation instrument technology for which Bill played a significant testing and development role.

Bill was a lifelong learner. After retirement, he went on to earn several more degrees in areas of interest including geography, geology, anthropology, history, and more. His passion for learning was recognized by others, so much so that he was granted an opportunity to assist on an archeological dig site in Malibu Canyon, working alongside PHD and graduate students to recover Chumash artifacts.

Bill is survived by his wife Barbara, his daughter Jean in Santa Barbara, CA., his daughter Kathy in Downey, CA, and his son Richard in Lancaster, CA, along with their families, including five grandchildren and one great grandchild. Bill loved his grandchildren, attending all sporting events, musical and theatrical performances and graduations - all significant events in the lives of the ones he loved.
Bill valued his time with family and friends.

He attended his monthly “Litton Lunch Bunch” for almost 20 years after retirement with his engineer friends, meeting monthly at Malibu Seafood to stay connected.

He enjoyed his volunteer work including:
• Getty Villa Malibu – Docent 10 years.
• Malibu Creek State Park – Docent 10 years.
• Volunteer, 1984 Olympics, Water Polo at Pepperdine University, Malibu.
• Volunteer at King Gillette Ranch in Malibu Canyon

Bill attended as many Aggie Musters as he could over the years. He was a forever Gig ‘em Aggie and wore his Class Ring proudly all his life.

Our hope is that the Aggie community, along with his family and friends, celebrate a life well lived.


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