John R. Mentzer June 16, 1916 February 21, 2013 John R. Mentzer, 96, Professor Emeritus of Engineering Sciences, died on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, at the Fairways Nursing Home after a brief time as a resident. He was born in Arch Spring on June 16, 1916, a son of Walter R. and Katheryn Barr Mentzer. On Feb. 17, 1945, he married Bernice Simon, who survives in State College. He was a graduate of Bellefonte High School in 1934, and he received a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State College in 1942. Following graduation, he was employed as a Design Engineer at the Westinghouse Corporation in Baltimore, Md. until 1946, when he returned to Penn State for graduate study. He was appointed to the research staff at the Ordnance Research Laboratory at Penn State and in 1948, received a Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering. He joined the research staff at the Antenna Laboratory at the Ohio State University and in 1952, he received the PhD in Physics from Ohio State. He then joined the research staff at Lincoln Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and subsequently returned to Penn State to join the teaching faculty in 1954, as Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering. In 1956, he was appointed Professor of Engineering Sciences as head of the first Honors program in the College of Engineering. In 1974, the Engineering Science Program was merged with the Department of Engineering Mechanics with the name Engineering Science and Mechanics and he was named the head of the new department. He held that position until his retirement in 1981, as Professor Emeritus of Engineering Sciences. During his service at Penn State, he was a consultant to a number of industrial firms, including HRB Singer, Bell Telephone Laboratories, The Sandia Corporation in Albuquerque, N.M., Locus Incorporated in State College, and Aircraft Armaments in Maryland He is listed in Who's Who in America, American Men of Science and Outstanding Educators of America, and was a Life member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Jacqueline Edwards and her husband, Robert, of State College; a son, Richard Mentzer and his wife, Susan, of Orlando Fla.; four grandchildren, Eric Edwards, of Tennessee, Kimberly Mentzer, of Florida, Michelle Mentzer, of Florida, and Jonathan Edwards, of State College. He was preceded in death by two sisters, LueEmma Coder and Eileen Aikey; a brother, Richard Mentzer; and a nephew, Dr. Barry Aikey A memorial service will not be held. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, The John R. Mentzer Scholarship Fund to Benefit Deserving Students. Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com.
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Published in Centre Daily Times on Feb. 22, 2013