Alexander "Mac" A. McCool Jr.

10 diciembre , 192314 julio , 2020

Alexander ‘Mac’ A. McCool Jr., 96, of Huntsville, Alabama went to be with his Lord and Savior on July 14, 2020. He was born in Daytona Beach, FL to Najla and Alexander A. McCool Sr.

Mr. McCool graduated from Mainland High School in 1942 and became a first class petty officer and machinist mate in the U. S. Navy serving at various Naval Air stations. He received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a master’s degree in Engineering at Louisiana State University in 1951.

After college, he was employed by the Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg MS, where he met his wife of 66 years. He transferred to the Ordinance Corps, U.S. Army in 1954 in Huntsville, where he worked in the Guided Missile Development Division at Redstone Arsenal as a propulsion engineer. He developed propulsion systems for early U.S. Space launch vehicles. As chief of Engine Systems Analysis with the Army’s Ballistic Mission Agency, he was a key participant in the propulsion design of the Jupiter rocket, which placed the “Free World’s” first satellite, EXPLORER into orbit. In 1960 when Marshall Space Flight Center was established, Mr. McCool transferred to NASA to work with the Wernher von Braun team. He was heavily involved in the design of the propulsion systems for the SATURN launch vehicles. In 1969, as Chief of the Systems Project in the Office in the Marshall Space Flight Center’s Astronautics Laboratory, he directed project engineering for the SATURN/APOLLO and SKYLAB programs. In the 1970s, as the Director of Structures and Propulsion Laboratory, McCool assumed the leadership role in the early Development of the Space Shuttle’s Main Engine and in the early ‘80s, managed the in-house development, test and flight phases of the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters. After the Challenger accident in January 1986 Mr. McCool was selected to lead the Solid Rocket Boosters recovery activity at the Kennedy Space Center. His expertise made him a valuable commodity at NASA, being named Director of the Safety, Reliability, Maintainability, and Quality Assurance Office at the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center.

Mr. McCool retired in 2004 after over 50 years of service. Since his retirement he became a emeritus docent at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center where he continued to share his love of space.

Mr. McCool was an active member of Whitesburg Baptist Church and a Bible teacher for over 50 years. Mac had many interests including running which he started at the age of 50. Antiquing was one of his favorite pastimes. He also loved to travel the world with Tuggie, but his favorite place to vacation was always the beach.

His parents, his brother Jim, and his beloved wife, Genelle ‘Tuggie’ Wade McCool, predecease him.

Survivors include his children, Alex McCool III (Jennifer), and Janet Cooper (Jack), grandchildren Alex McCool IV (Chelsea), Nathan Cooper (Ashleigh), Daniel Cooper (Kaylynn) and Nicholas McCool, and five great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be at 10:00 a.m. at Whitesburg Baptist Church, South Campus, with the service to follow at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 18, 2020. The family will hold a private graveside service at Valhalla Memory Gardens.

The family would like to thank Dr. Kirk Holdsambeck for his outstanding care of the McCool family. In addition, the family would like to thank Hospice Family Care. Memorials may be given to Hospice Family Care, 10000 Serenity Lane, Huntsville, AL, 35803.


  • Alex McCool III (Jennifer), Son
  • Janet Cooper (Jack), Daughter
  • Alex McCool IV (Chelsea), Grandson
  • Nathan Cooper (Ashleigh), Grandson
  • Daniel Cooper (Kaylynn), Grandson
  • Nicholas McCool, Grandson
  • Five, Great Grandchildren
  • Genelle "Tuggie" Wade McCool, Wife (deceased)
  • Jim McCool, Brother (deceased)


  • Visitation

    sábado, 18 julio , 2020

  • Celebration of Life

    sábado, 18 julio , 2020


Alexander "Mac" A. McCool Jr.


George Cornick

27 diciembre , 2020

I met Mr. McCool on a trip with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop to the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville AL. Mr McCool was so knowledgeable and willing to share, taking time to explain some really complex ideas to my daughter and her friends. I thought it was so kind of him to give back to the community in that way so I asked him to write his name on a card so I could look him up later. I lost the card when we came home and only recently stumbled upon it while cleaning. I want to offer my sincerest condolences as he made a lasting impression on me in only a short time, I can only image the loss his close friends and family felt at his passing. I pray I can meet him again in the next life and that he Rest In Peace. God bless you.

George “Corey” Cornick

Ron Dittemore

19 julio , 2020

For many years I worked along side Alex, seeking his counsel and wisdom from many years of experience. He had basically "seen it all" and Alex was the "go to" leader for many program managers to solve the most difficult and complex issues. I trusted him greatly.

But more than being a giant in his field of expertise, Alex was a kind and soft spoken friend. When Alex spoke, we all listened! He spoke with confidence and a gentleness that reflected his unwavering spiritual strength. He represented the best of what we all aspired to become.

May the Lord bless and comfort his wonderful family.

Pravin Aggarwal

18 julio , 2020

He was a great leader and a very humble man. Some of us are very lucky that we get to work for him . His accomplishment and teaching will remain with us. May God gives his soul rest and strength to his family to bear the loss. Peace, sir

Ann and Leigh Moore

18 julio , 2020

My husband and I loved Alex. He and Tuggie were our Sunday School teachers for many years at Whitesburg Baptist and we know how much he loved the Lord. We have never known such a kind, caring person as Alex who loved his family, his God and his work. God let him have 96 great years! We thank God for his life, his work and his love for others and know that he is now with Jesus and Tuggie and must be overwhelmed with happiness. His was a good long life lived well. May God bless the rest of his family as He has Alex. Ann and Leigh Moore

Wendy Morgan

18 julio , 2020

I worked alongside Mr. McCool at the US Space and Rocket Center. I will always remember the kindness of Mr. McCool. He was always willing to answer any question I had as he voulenteered way long after he retired sharing stories of days of the Saturn V. Mr. McCool was always so amazing to talk to, and learn from. The earth is a little darker today, but the heavens are much brighter. Praying for Rest for Mr. McCool, and peace and comfort for the family.

Charles Ryan

18 julio , 2020

Alex was the older brother I never had. Every time we volunteered together at the Rocket Center, I left smiling. I will never forget his beautiful stories and his bright, shining, smiling face. He never failed to lift up my heart. He is the best medicine I ever had. I Love You Alex.

My Deepest Sympathies to the entire family. May their many wonderful memories eclipse the intense pain.

Rudi Rudolphi

17 julio , 2020

For several years Alex was my boss, my mentor and my friend. Alex clearly left this world better than he found it. God Bless.

Ted Edge

17 julio , 2020

I remember Alex as a fine man when we worked together at NASA-MSFC and appreciated him for his management skills, technical competence and Christian faith. We were on TDY to ESA in Noordvick, the Netherlands working a Hubble Space Telescope Solar Array Design Review. Drayton Talley and I taught Sunday School at different churches but both he and I had forgot to bring our Sunday School Lesson books along on the trip. Drayton came up to me on the plane and said, "Hey, Alex is travelling with us on this TDY trip, let me see if he has his Sunday School Lesson book". Dependable Alex had his along and let Drayton and I copy the lesson for both of us. He bailed us out allowing us to have some study time on the lesson. Alex was a fine Christian man and he has now taken his flight into the Glory of God's Heaven to be with those dear to his faithful soul. May the Lord comfort his family at this difficult time.
Ted Edge


17 julio , 2020

I met Alex when I began work at NASA Marshall in the late 1960s, although we didn't work closely together. I had earlier worked more with his brother Jim at NASA Michoud in New Orleans. Both brothers were involved with the Saturn I S-1B stage that I was working on at the time. Over the years I observed Alex continuously grow in stature at NASA Marshall, and really admired his gracious management style. Rather late in his career he accepted huge NASA responsibilities, when other NASA employees his age were long into retirement.
My favorite Alex story, however, didn't involve NASA. In 1980, the Huntsville Track Club began an annual 6.2 mile race called Cotton Row Run. I was in my early 40s and in fair physical condition, but hadn't done any running. I decided to run the Cotton Row Run, and see if I could earn a special commemorative T-shirt by running it in fewer than 60 minutes. Well, it's a tough, hilly course and it took me about 63 minutes. As I was about to head home, Alex saw me and told me to go with him to pick up our commemorative T-shirts. I told him I hadn't earned the shirt, since I was slower than the 60 minute limit. He grabbed my arm and pulled me toward the T-shirt line, saying "Everybody earned that shirt today". I still have that commemorative T-shirt, some 40 years later, thanks to Alex.

Ron Bledsoe

17 julio , 2020

Mac was a wonderful friend and mentor. He hired me to join NASA
in 1960. He was an wonderful leader and taught me so much as a man of faith.
Through the years I could always depend on him for good advice.
I will miss him and Thank God for his long life.
My sympathy and prayers for his family.