William Bill Thomas Soper
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Mr. William Thomas "Bill" Soper, 90, of Frederick, MD, passed away on Sunday, July 7, 2019, at his home. He is survived by his second wife, Janet L. Michael. His first wife of 48 years, Helen J. Soper, predeceased him in May 2003. Born October 29, 1928 in Nicholasville, KY, he was the son of the late Leighton Miller Soper and Vella Parrish Soper. He was a special nephew of the late Ora Soper Schneider and DR. F. O. Schneider of Nicholasville, who raised him from the age of five, in their home now known as "The Corner House Bed and Breakfast", on Richmond Avenue, in Nicholasville.
Surviving in addition to his wife is a daughter, Karen S. Bowers and husband Martin, of Hagerstown, MD and his son, Karl W. Soper and wife Lynne, of Mt. Airy, MD. Also surviving are two granddaughters, Jennifer Anne Bowers and Claire Virginia Soper and two grandsons, William Wallace Soper and Robert Anthony Soper. He is also survived by Martha Faye Foster, widow of his late nephew, Tom Foster and their children Tobin and Colby Foster.
Bill graduated from the University of Kentucky with BS and MS degrees in Microbiology. He began his professional career as a teaching assistant at UK and an instructor in Microbiology and Public Health at Eastern Kentucky University. He was a research microbiologist and technical information administrator at Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD from 1956 to 1970 and authored a number of scientific papers on virus-tissue culture interactions. Leaving Fort Detrick in 1970 he became an information specialist, medical writer and editor at the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, where he was an author and or co-author of various articles on cancer treatment. He retired in 1987.
During his professional career, he was a member of the Research Honorary Sigma Xi
(UK), the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and Scientific Research Society of America (RESA) at fort Detrick.
Bill and Janet were able to travel widely throughout the United States and the world, touching on every continent. Janet did miss Antarctica but Bill, a US Navy Veteran, was a member of a photographic unit after WW II engaged in aerial mapping of the Antarctic coast during the 1946 South Pole Expedition led by Admiral Richard Byrd.
Bill especially valued his roles in stage productions and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Fredericktowne Players (1974-1983) and in several other productions since 2005, notably in his last performance as the "Star Keeper" in Carousel in July 2012.
Bill was a Kentucky Colonel and locally he was a member of the Francis Scott Key American Legion Post # 11, the Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge # 371, Amvets Post # 2, the Elks Lodge # 684. NARFE Chapter # 409, and the AARP Chapter # 636.
There will be a memorial service held at 2 p.m., on Saturday, July 13, 2019 at the Keeney and Basford Funeral Home, 106 East Church Street, Frederick. Interment will be private at a later date in Resthaven Memorial Gardens, Frederick.
No flowers are requested, however memorial contributions may be made to the Janet L. Hahn Michael fund at the Community Foundation of Frederick County, 312 East Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701 or a charity of ones choice.
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