John Charles Cooper, 45, a chemist at the Naval Research Laboratory and a volunteer coordinator for the American Mathematics Competition for Junior High School Students, died of a heart attack Dec. 21 at Fairfax Hospital.

Dr. Cooper, a resident of Burke, was born in Scotts Bluff, Neb. He graduated from the University of Nebraska, where he also received master's and doctoral degrees in chemistry.

He moved to the Washington area in 1974 and began his career at the Naval Research Laboratory. He was chief of the solution chemistry section in the chemistry division at the time of his death.

Dr. Cooper was honored by the University of Nebraska through its master's program, to which five people are named each year, and he was a member of the university's science advisory board.

He also was president of the Naval Research Laboratory Federal Credit Union and a past member of the board of the Signal Hill Home Association in Burke.

Survivors include his wife, Linda T. Cooper, and three children, Robert, Matthew and Stephanie Cooper, all of Burke; his parents, L. John and Phyllis Cooper of Columbus, Neb.; a brother, James Cooper of Dwight, Neb.; and a sister, Sharon Westerfield of Albuquerque.


Hardware Merchant

Paul Franklin Wire, 86, a retired Rockville hardware and lumber merchant and lifelong resident of Montgomery County, died of cancer Dec. 25 at Suburban Hospital.

Mr. Wire, a resident of Rockville, was born in Kensington. He graduated from Montgomery County High School.

For 20 years, he worked for the Reed Bros. garage in Rockville, where he was the bookkeeper. In 1944, he founded the Wire Hardware and Lumber Co. in Rockville, and he ran it until retiring in 1978. The business is still in his family.

Mr. Wire was a member of Rockville United Methodist Church, and he was a founder and past president of the Rockville chapter of the Izaak Walton League.

His first wife, the former Minnie Gardner, died in 1965.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Byrnes Wire of Rockville; three children by his first marriage, Paul F. Wire Jr. of Reston, Ann Whittaker of Menlo Park, Calif., and William J. Wire of Derwood, Md.; a sister, Mary Wire Linthicum of Rockvllle; and eight grandchilden.



Michael W.D. Kim, 63, a program manager with the ocean energy systems division of the Department of Energy, died of cancer Dec. 23 at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Kim, who lived in Potomac, was born in Seoul. He served in the South Korean army during the Korean War, and he graduated from Seoul National University.

He came to the United States in 1954 and later received a master's degree in civil engineering from the University of Iowa and a doctorate in the same subject at what is now Carnegie-Mellon University.

During the 1950s, Dr. Kim worked for the Army Corps of Engineers in Oregon. He later worked for Boeing Aircraft Co. in Seattle and taught engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., and Cooper Union School of Engineering Science in New York City.

His last employment before moving to the Washington area in 1974 and joining the federal government was with the Frederick R. Harris engineering consulting firm in Great Neck, N.Y.

In the Washington area, Dr. Kim worked at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command in Alexandria. In 1980, he transferred to the Department of Energy.

Survivors include his wife, Jean K. Kim of Potomac; three children, Suzanne Kim of New York City, Thomas Kim of Gulfport, Miss., and George Kim of Burlington, Vt.; and four sisters, Hee-dong Kim and Jung-dong Kim, both of Seoul, and Choon-dong Kim and Nyun-dong Kim, both of Haworth, N.J.