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JERRY D. KORSMEYER


1930 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
JERRY D. KORSMEYER Obituary
KORSMEYER
JERRY D.
Age 84, of Peters Township, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Saturday, September 12, 2015. Born December 5, 1930, in Forest Hills, New York, Jerry was the son of Cecil Degnan and Edward W. Korsmeyer. His early years were spent in Forest Hills, New York, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and Larchmont, New York, as his father, who worked for Cities Service Corp. was transferred about the country. Jerry began high school in Lake Charles Louisiana, and went on to graduate from McNeese Jr. College there. B.S. and M.S. degrees in physics were earned at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. In 1954, during the Korean conflict, Jerry served in the Air Force. Captain Korsmeyer was then stationed at the Air Force Research Directorate, Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque. He participated in "Operation Redwing", the 1954 Atomic Weapons Test Series during which he was based on Eniwetak in the Marshall Islands. After the service, Jerry spent an additional year studying physics at the University of Washington in Seattle. He was lured away from grad school to join the experimental reactor physics staff at the DOE, Bettis Naval Reactors Laboratory in West Mifflin, PA. Jerry was Supervisor of Experimental Operations and Analysis when his group performed the initial critical operation of the first heterogeneous thermal nuclear reactor fueled exclusively with Uranium 233. Jerry spent 31 years at Bettis, and among his positions was that of Manager of Reactor Engineering for the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier project. He was the senior physicist for the startup of the first USS Nimitz reactor, and participated in the Nimitz and USS Vinson sea trials. In 1960, Jerry married Mary Abigail Drake of Portsmouth, Ohio, a sorority sister of his sister Cecile at Cornell. They had three children, Carol, David, and Keith. During his years in Pittsburgh, Jerry had an active interest in church activities; e.g. for a number of years he served as Lay Director of the Pittsburgh Cursillo movement. He earned an M.A. in theology from Duquesne University, and a Ph.D. in theology in 1992. In his later years, Jerry was a regular volunteer at the Washington City Mission. Jerry was a perpetual student, and a participating member of the American Academy of Religion, the Catholic Theology Society of America, The Center for Process Studies, The Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, and the Institute for Religion in an Age of Science. He authored two books on theology, Evolution and Eden: Balancing Original Sin and Contemporary Science (Paulist Press, 1998), and God-Creature-Revelation (University Press of America, 1995). His special area of research was the application of process thought to the interface between science and religion. He has spent his recent years studying the evolution of religion, traveling widely with Mary Gail and good friends, and most of all enjoying his children and seven grandchildren. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Mary Gail Drake Korsmeyer; his children, Carol (Dan) Dupee of Allison Park, PA, David (Katy) Korsmeyer of San Mateo, CA and Keith (Amy) Korsmeyer of Honolulu, HI. He will also be missed by his grandchildren, Jack, Spencer, Eliza and Anne Dupee, Alysia and Julie Korsmeyer and Elijah Korsmeyer. Friends are welcome for a gathering on Friday, September 18, 2015, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the CREMATION & FUNERAL CARE, 3287 Washington Rd., McMurray, PA 15317, 724-260-5546. A Service with Full Military Honors will be held immediately following at 1:30 p.m. in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, 1158 Morgan Road Bridgeville, PA 15017. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Washington City Mission, 84 West Wheeling St., Washington, PA 15301.
Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Sept. 15, 2015
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