Richard Ernest Tressler | The American Ceramic Society

Richard Ernest Tressler

Richard Ernest Tressler, 65, of Oak Hall, died Saturday, Sept. 8, 2007,
surrounded by family at the Mount Nittany Medical Center. He died of
ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Born on June 14, 1942, in Bellefonte, he
was a son of Ernestine and the late Earl Tressler, of Bellefonte. He is
survived by his wife, Janis Jones, and three daughters and their
families, Laura Sweeny and her husband Robert, of Indiana,
Pennsylvania, and their children Owen and Francie; Kristin Reagle and
her husband Daniel, of Media, and their daughter Megan; and Jennifer
Hendrickson and her husband Michael, of State College, and their
children Ada and Sally. He is also survived by stepson David Mochak and
wife Natalie, and their son Devin; two brothers, Hubert of Green Bay,
Wis., and Kermit of Bellefonte. He was preceded in death by his late
wife, Sue Alexander Tressler and his brother Earl of Muncy. He was a
1959 graduate of Bellefonte Area High School. He earned his B.S. degree
in Ceramic Technology from Penn State in 1963, his M.S. at MIT in 1964,
and his Ph.D. in Ceramic Science at Penn State in 1967.

He was a decorated veteran, serving as a Captain in the United States Air Force, then joined the Ceramics
faculty at Penn State in 1972. He served as Head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering for 10
years, was President of the American Ceramic Society, and Founding Director of the Center for Advanced Materials at
State. He also served on the technical advisory boards of Kyocera, Air
Products, and Alcoa, as well as the Board of Directors of AVX
Corporation. In recognition of his accomplishments he was named
Academician of the World
Academy of Ceramics, Honorary Member of the Societe Francaise de Metallurgie et de Materiaux, the International
Prize of the Japan Fine Ceramics Association, and was named Distinguished Life Member of the American Ceramic
and received the Hosler Alumni Scholar Award of the College of Earth
and Mineral Sciences. He retired as Professor Emeritus of Materials
Science and Engineering in 2001. He made a significant contribution to
the field of Materials Science by being an outstanding mentor to his
students. In addition to enjoying time on his farm with his family and
particularly his grandchildren, he was an avid hunter and fly
fisherman. He loved to garden, chop wood, and drive his tractor. His
hobbies included restoring old homes and antique automobiles. He was a
lover of music and played the flute and bass.

He was a lifelong
supporter of Penn State and dedicated himself to philanthropic efforts
on behalf of the University. He will be remembered for his quick wit
and sense of humor. He was a member of St. Paul’s United Methodist
Church, a life member of the Penn State Alumni Association, and a
member of the Obelisk Society of the College of Earth and Mineral
Sciences at Penn State.  The family encourages donations in his memory
to The
Richard E. Tressler Career Development Professorship in
Materials Science and Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University,
121 Steidle Building, University Park, PA 16802.