W. J. Kommers, 89

The Baltimore Sun

William Jesse Kommers, a retired engineer who had worked at the David W. Taylor Ship Research & Development Center, died Saturday of a stroke at his Venice, Fla., home where he had lived since 1989. He was 89.

Mr. Kommers was a former Severna Park resident and ham radio operator who served as president of the Anne Arundel Radio Club. He worked at the naval research center in Annapolis from 1950 until he retired in 1974.

Born and raised in Madison, Wis., Mr. Kommers earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 1939. He began his career at Standard Oil Co. in San Francisco and then the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory in Madison.

He later did graduate studies at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, the Wharton School in Philadelphia and George Washington University.

During World War II, he served as engineering officer on the USS Antigone, a landing ship tank, and later commanded LST 848 in the Pacific theater. He was honorably discharged at war's end with the rank of lieutenant commander.

After the war, he returned to the forest products laboratory, where he worked until joining the naval research center.

He was a member of the American Society of Naval Engineers and the Severn Technical Society. He was also a member of the Military Order of World Wars, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and the American Legion.

Mr. Kommers enjoyed collecting coins and stamps, refurbishing clocks and making jewelry.

His wife of 56 years, the former Janet E. Jordan, died in 2000.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Sandalwood Park Clubhouse, 300 Sandpiper Drive, Venice.

Surviving are two sons, Richard W. Kommers of Annapolis, and Stephen J. Kommers of Venice; a daughter, Erica J. Kommers of Venice; 10 step-grandchildren; and 25 great-grandchildren.

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