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Edmund Gion ’59

March 8, 2021, in Havre de Grace, Maryland.

Though his family was originally from southern China, Ed was born in Altheimer, Arkansas. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, stationed in Japan. Taking advantage of the GI Bill, he attended college at the University of Arkansas until his physics professor there suggested that Ed might be more stimulated at Reed.  He wrote his thesis, “An Investigation of Energy Levels in the C¹¹ Nucleus,” with Prof. Kenneth Davis [physics 1948–80] advising.

“With all the bright young people attending Reed at the time, I was not a top-notch student,” Ed remembered. “Being shy and not too articulate is a handicap. However, Prof. Davis never treated me like I was less worthy of his attention.”

In 1999, Ed and his wife, Irene, established the Kenneth E. Davis Scholarship at Reed in honor of the caring professor who had deeply affected his life and career.

Ed earned his MA and PhD in physics from Lehigh University. He spent his career as a research physicist for the Army Ballistic Research Lab at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Outside of work, Ed enjoyed woodworking, biking, listening to classical music, and discussing science, current events, and finance. He never returned to campus, but in addition to endowing a scholarship in Ken Davis’s name, Ed also endowed the Gion Family Scholarship.

Through a mutual friend, he met his wife, Irene, who grew up in Hong Kong and came to Arkansas when she was 27. She passed away in January of this year. Ed is survived by his sons, Alan and Timothy Gion; his daughter, Lisa Peters; and his siblings, Susie Yium, Leland Gion, and Alice Joe.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2021

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