MIAMI — Boeing announced today the passing of William E. Boeing, Jr., at the age of 92. Boeing was the only son of company founder William E. Boeing, Sr.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Bill Boeing, Jr. Bill’s impact on the social and economic development of the Puget Sound has greatly benefited generations in the community,” said Boeing Chairman and CEO Jim McNerney in a statement. “We are especially grateful for his efforts to preserve our largest home community’s history of aerospace innovation by helping secure and renew the legendary Red Barn, our first factory, a special place that he visited as a boy. Then, as a leading light in the creation and expansion of the Museum of Flight, he helped showcase our heritage and inspire generations to join in and further advance the science and business of aerospace.
“Bill continued his family’s great heritage with grace, energy and goodwill. As we cherish his memory, we will also continue to see his works through the institutions he left us and the people who were helped and inspired by his leadership,” said McNerney.
Boeing was born in Seattle on November 22, 1922. He had his first experience with aviation when he was about five years old when he had a ride in one of the early mail planes, the Boeing 40 Series.
In the summer of 1934, Bill and his father often flew in a Boeing Flying Boat to go fishing in Canada. This sea plane held five passengers and was piloted by Clayton Scott, who would later become Boeing’s chief test pilot during the war.
After high school, Bill began a very successful venture constructing industrial buildings. He then built a hangar space at Boeing field which was the home of Aero9 Copters, a helicopter company he had started and continued to operate for nine years.
In the 1960s, Bill began building commercial warehouses, establishing business parks south of Seattle. He also went into the broadcasting business. He bought several radio stations and kept them for several years.
In the late 1970s, Bill became interested in the formation of a Museum of Flight in Seattle and became a long-time trustee of the museum. His father, Bill Boeing, Sr., started the Boeing Aircraft Company and the main building that was used for the construction of airplanes was the Red Barn. Bill Jr. was able to move the Red Barn to Museum of Flight property at Boeing Field, where it now stands, in order to preserve the wonderful memories and the aviation history that goes along with it.
Bill Boeing, Jr., was honored as the first recipient of the Museum’s Red Barn Heritage Award in 2011, and has received a number of aviation industry awards over the years.