Nils Fernelius

Obituary of Nils C. Fernelius

Nils C. Fernelius, 89, passed away on March 3, 2024, at Juniper Village at Brookline in State College PA. Nils was born on November 10, 1934, in Columbus,OH, the son of W. Conard and Naomi (Baker) Fernelius. He is survived by his sister Sigrid Byers of State College, niece Debbie Hefferle (Brian) of Denville NJ, niece Karin Byers (Bob Mowry) of Cranberry Township PA and nephew Eric Byers (Ida Pappas) of Hopkinton MA. He is also survived by grandnieces and grandnephew Lauren Carlson, Matthew Hefferle, Kristina Hefferle, Alyson Hefferle, Sarah Mowry, Katie Mowry, Bronwyn Pappas- Byers, and Linnea Pappas-Byers. Nils graduated from State College Area High School, got his BA from Harvard University, his MS and PhD from the University of Illinois - all in Physics (nonlinear optics). He last worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH, as a National Research Council Senior Fellow. He was a member of American Physical Society, Optical Society of America, Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), Materials Research Society, Society for Applied Spectroscopy, Sigma Xi and the American Association of Physics Teachers. Nils was the chair of the Solid State Laser Committee of Lasers and Electro-Optics Society from 2002 to 2005 and was the recipient of the George Rappaport Award from the Society for Applied Spectroscopy in 1995. He liked to travel and had visited all 50 states, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Scotland, France, Italy, Russia, Turkey, and Yugoslavia. Other interests included stamps, genealogy, local history and classical music. He also enjoyed watching football games and wrestling. Nils was a loving brother and uncle. He is remembered by his family for his kindness and generosity. There will be a private service with the family. Contributions may be made in memory of Nils Fernelius to the Centre County Historical Society, 1001 E. College Ave., State College PA 16801 or to Juniper Village at Brookline SNF, 1950 Cliffside Dr., State College PA 16801.
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