In Memoriam

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Bernard C. Baumgartner ’35

Bernard Charles Baumgartner ’35, August 27, 2002, in Portland. After receiving a BA in physics from Reed, Barney worked for the Leland Electric Company in Dayton, Ohio, initially as a student engineer and finally as supervisor of the experimental development and testing laboratory. He married Margaret Call in 1936, and they raised four daughters in the course of their 65-year marriage. In 1940, he began a position with the Delco Products Division of General Motors as a research and development engineer. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942, where he trained civilian and military personnel. From 1946 to 1955 he lived in Grass Valley, Oregon, establishing an electrical contracting business, serving two terms as mayor, and working as a member of the rural school board for Sherman County. He and his wife added a hardware store, a service station, and a motel to their business activities before moving to Salem, Oregon, to address their daughters’ expanding educational needs. Barney worked at a Meier & Frank department store and as a real estate salesman until he was hired as an engineering instructor for Portland State University where he worked until 1978. During his tenure at PSU, he served as registrar, director of admission, and assistant to the chairman of the division of science before returning to teaching as associate professor of engineering. He spent two sabbatical terms in Europe, the second to observe and study alternate energy sources. In 1976 he was appointed dean of the College of Science, and retired as an emeritus professor of engineering and applied science. He enjoyed travel and bird watching, and his avocation in computer programming. He is survived by three of his daughters, seven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and a brother.

Appeared in Reed magazine: February 2003

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