Former NASA code writer and Burnet resident leaves $88,800 to historical commission

Burnet County commissioners pose during the regular commissioner court meeting Jan. 8 with members of the Burnet County Historical Commission after accepting a donation of $88,800 from the estate of Ina Cooper, who died in June 2017. Staff photo by Jared Fields

Burnet County commissioners pose during the regular commissioner court meeting Jan. 8 with members of the Burnet County Historical Commission after accepting a donation of $88,800 from the estate of Ina Cooper, who died in June 2017. Staff photo by Jared Fields

STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS

When Ina Cooper died in June 2017, she left a percentage of her estate to the Burnet County Historical Commission.

“We learned right before Christmas how much it would be,” said historical commission President Joann Myers. “We were just stunned.”

At the Burnet County Commissioners Court meeting Jan. 8, the county accepted an $88,800 donation to the historical commission from Cooper’s estate.

“At the February meeting, we’re going to talk about what we want to do and make some plans,” Myers said.

Myers did share a couple of potential projects that the historical commission could consider. One was submitting an application for the old jail on the Burnet courthouse square to be added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Another possibility is to do the same for the county’s historic iron bridges.

“With this windfall, we can make big plans for preservation,” Myers said.

Cooper, according to her obituary, moved to Burnet to fulfill a dream of owning a business on the square. In her previous professional life, she worked at NASA, where she wrote re-entry coding and firmware for the Apollo missions. She later worked as a software engineer and traveled the world.

Upon settling in Burnet, Cooper formed the Friends of Cultural and Historical Preservation and served on the City Council.

In other action at the Jan. 8 meeting:

• a donation of $17,427 was accepted to the Burnet County Flood Relief Fund from three local Rotary Clubs: Rotary Club of Burnet, Rotary Club of Marble Falls, and Marble Falls Daybreak Rotary.

• the May 28 regular meeting was rescheduled to May 29.

jared@thepicayune.com

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