Ira B. Mullis, 79, of Silver Spring, died Oct. 1 of heart failure at Holy Cross Hospital. He was a retired senior staff engineer at the Johns Hopkins
University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel.
Born in Washington, D.C, he relocated to Nebraska with his parents at age 10.
Mr. Mullis received a bachelor of science degree and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State College in Ames, Iowa.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946, where he designed and built fixed communication facilities in the South Pacific Theatre. He attained the
rank of first lieutenant and served in the Army Reserve from 1946 to 1956.
He worked for the Curtiss-Wright Corp. in Columbus, Ohio, from 1946 to 1950.
He returned to the D.C area and joined APL in 1950. During his 36 years at APL, he contributed to the design, development and testing of guided missile
systems. His early years included solutions to control-system and circuit-design problems associated with the Talos and Typhon missiles.
Later he became involved in the design and simulation of Tartar missile fire-control systems. From 1971 until his retirement in 1986, he was chairman of the
Standard Missile White Sands Missile Range Programming Committee and was responsible for digital computations in support of flight tests.
In the late 1950s, Mr. Mullis designed for Howard County a radio-telephone alarm and communication system used by police, firefighters, civil defense and
public works officers.
Mr. Mullis is survived by his wife, Janet Mullis; daughters, Joann Windsor of Germantown, Carole Ann Case of Sterling, Va., Sherry Whisenhunt of Ventura,
Calf., and Marilyn Smith of Germantown; and one grandchild.
Ira B. Mullis Engineer
Thursday , October 5, 2000 ; Page B07
Ira B. Mullis, 79, a senior staff engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory who retired in 1986 as chairman of the Standard Missile White Sands Missile Range Programming Committee, died of heart and kidney ailments Oct. 1 at Holy Cross Hospital. He had diabetes.
Mr. Mullis worked 36 years at the Applied Physics Laboratory, where his specialties included the design, development and testing of guided missile systems. In the 1950s he designed a radio-telephone alarm and communication used by police officers, firefighters, civil defense workers and public works officers in Howard County.
A resident of Silver Spring, he was born in Washington. At the age of 10 he moved with his parents to Nebraska. He served in the Army in the Pacific during World War II and graduated from Iowa State University, where he also received a master’s degree in electrical engineering.
Before returning to this area in 1950, he worked for Curtiss-Wright Corp. in Columbus, Ohio.
His avocations included woodworking. He built furniture and grandfather clocks.
Survivors include his wife, Janet Mullis of Silver Spring; four daughters, Joann Windsor and Marilyn Smith, both of Germantown, Carole Ann Case of Sterling and Sherry Whisenhut of Ventura, Calif.; and a grandchild.