Molson Coors Remembers Bill Coors

After Bill graduated from Princeton University in 1939, he returned home to Golden, Colorado to work for his father. Bill’s first marriage to Geraldine Jackson, was blessed with 4 children, 3 girls: Missy, Margaret (Maggie) and May, and a boy: William Kistler Jr. (Billy). Billy and Missy tragically passed away before their father. His second marriage with Phyliss Mahaffey was blessed with another son, Scott. Later in life he married Rita Bass, who predeceased him in 2015. Bill’s first job back in Golden after graduation was working for Coors Porcelain Company, which has evolved into today’s CoorsTek. Bill spent seven years at “the Pottery.” During his tenure he set up and launched the company’s first isostatic insulator line from the tools and equipment sold to Coors Porcelain from Champion Spark Plug Company. Bill remembers this time fondly, as for the first time in his life, he was totally in charge of a project; from the installation of the equipment to the operation the entire production line from start to finish. The quality and performance of the insulators produced at Coors Porcelain were unmatched and, during WWII, these insulators were used at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in calutrons – which used the electromagnetic separation method to separate uranium isotopes. Many of these calutrons, with Bill’s insulators inside, were later used to produce over 200 stable isotopes used for cancer treatment, medical diagnostics, nonproliferation, and other applications. On December 2, 2016, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management, presented Bill with the Energy Secretary’s Appreciation Award in Golden, Colorado. The award recognized his historic role in providing critical insulators to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Manhattan Engineer District (also known as the Manhattan Project) during World War II. In 1946, Joe Coors Sr. took over leadership at Coors Porcelain and led the company to become a leading technical ceramics company, while Bill transitioned to the brewery to assist his father and become a legend in the industry.