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K. Nolen Tanner ’43

K. Nolen Tanner ’43, July 4, 2003, in Portland, from complications due to lymphoma. Nolen received a BA in chemistry from Reed. He worked as a chemist before serving in the U.S. Navy (1944–46). He taught briefly at Reed, then entered graduate school at the University of Rochester, New York, receiving a PhD in physical chemistry in 1950. He did postdoctoral work at the University of Michigan, then moved to California where he did research relating to missile guidance systems for the U.S. government. Following that, Nolen entered the University of Oregon Medical School, graduating with an MD in ophthalmology in 1960. In addition to his medical practice in Portland (1961–95), he lectured at the Optical Society and Oregon Health & Science University, conducted vision-related research, and contributed to professional journals. He was a humanitarian, with an active interest in business, politics, and world affairs, and he donated his time and skills not only to the Oregon Blind Commission, but also to members of the Alaskan Eskimo population. His skills in mechanics, as a private pilot, and as a world traveler interested in many cultures, were shared and enjoyed by his family, to which he was devoted. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Joan Kunkel Tanner; four children; five grandchildren; and two sisters.

Appeared in Reed magazine: November 2003

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