Robert J. Heinsohn died on Feb. 14, 2022, at Foxdale Village at age 89.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1932, he was the son of Rudolf and Grace Heinsohn and was raised in Rockville Center, Long Island. Studying mechanical engineering, he graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a bachelor's degree in 1954, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a master's degree in 1955, and Michigan State University with a doctorate in 1963. He served in Baltimore as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force between 1956 and 1958.
Robert was a professor of mechanical engineering at Penn State for more than 34 years and retired in 1997 with emeritus status. In addition to teaching and serving in the Faculty Senate and on a number of committees, he authored a college textbook (and co-authored another with John Cimbala) on topics related to air quality and ventilation, and co-authored a book on air pollution with Robert Kabel. Robert also worked as a consultant to industry.
He was an active member of professional and fraternal associations including the Association of Mechanical Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Association of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, Pi Tau Sigma and his college fraternity, Theta Chi.
Robert is survived by his wife of 66 years, Anne; daughters Janet (and husband Robert Glass) of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Beth Heinsohn (Andrew Cohen) of Jersey City, New Jersey; grandchildren Rachel Glass (David Robertson), Laura Glass (Richard Curtin), Sarah Glass, Abigail Cohen and Jack Cohen; and sister Audrey (Richard Hillsley), eight nieces and nephews and 27 great-nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister Carolyn (John Baker).
Robert had many interests which he pursued with passion and energy. He raised Angus cattle and he and Anne tended a large vegetable garden on a farm which was their family's home for almost 50 years, turning to roses and container gardening after moving to Foxdale Village in 2012.
During retirement, he served on the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors and in various capacities for the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (SMDCP). He also brought his love of history to researching and writing an extensive family genealogy, a history of mechanical engineering at Penn State, and articles for the SMDCP.
He greatly enjoyed the fellowship of his friends in groups such as the Lunch Bunch, the Men's Discussion Group at Foxdale and the 29'ers and the Metric Club. Robert was also a longtime member of St. Andrew's Episcopal church.
A service of remembrance will be held Saturday, March 19 at 11 a.m. at St. Andrew's Church in State College. Masks are required. The Rev. Jeffrey Packard will officiate with Gwen Catchen as organist. The service will also be live-streamed on the church's Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/standrewsc/). Friends will be received following the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Robert's name to CVIM (Centre Volunteers in Medicine) or Centre County PAWS.