Whitman Family Genealogy Forum
Note: also posted this in Merrill family post; appears to be a Whitman...
MERRILL, JOSEPH WHITMAN; age 89; died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of October 16, 2008, at Glacier Hills in Ann Arbor. Born July 8, 1919, to Walter John Whitman and Faith H. LaBarge, on the family farm in Delano Twp., outside of Au Gres, Michigan. Learned advocate, and unheeded prophet, for nuclear power and the civilian fast-breeder reactor program. From Fordson High School in Dearborn, he entered the Engineering College of the University of Michigan. At the outset of World War II, he volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Corps, became an officer, serving as a flight engineer in B-17 and B-29 bombers. Married the late Patricia Jean Walter, RN, November 1943. Returning to the University, graduated in metallurgical engineering, B.S.E. (1946) and M.S.E. (1947). Worked for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and Argonne National Laboratory until 1952. Re-called to active duty in the USAF during the Korean War. Worked in the USAF's air-craft nuclear propulsion effort. Moved to the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to work on civilian nuclear power and related materials research. At the AEC, now a civilian, he served in various research, development, and administrative roles, retiring in 1975 as the Deputy Director of the Civilian Nuclear Reactor Program. Served as Technical Director of Americans for Energy Independence. Long time member of the Am. Nuclear Society, serving as Chair of its Materials Science and Technology Division. Boy Scout leader, as Scout Master and District Chair, recipient of the Silver Beaver. Served as Chair of the Fairfax City (VA) School Board dealing both with population growth and the end of segregation; Vestryman of Truro Episcopal Church; and, in later years, President of the Tibetan Meditation Center. Inveterate runner, yoga practitioner, and UM sports fan. Survived by his younger sisters, Betty Whitman Pierson and Walda (Audie) Whitman Hura; father of Merrill Jay Whitman of Ann Arbor, Walter Jon Whitman of Culpeper, VA, and the late Patricia Jeanne Whitman Saunders; grandfather of Claire, Emma, Katherine, Jon, Joseph, Joshua, Mary and Steven; great-grandfather of Garrett, Tyler, Caleb, Walter and Charles; and uncle to many nieces and nephews. Memorial Service, St. James Episcopal Church, 25150 East River Rd., Grosse Isle, MI, 1 p.m., November 8, 2008. Memorial donations may be made to the College of Engineering, University of Michigan.
I am not a relative
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