Amherst Magazine

Fredric E. Weil ’54

Fredric E. Weil ’54 died July 10, 2011.
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In Memory: Fredric E. Weil '54

Fred came to Amherst from Shaker Heights High School, Ohio.  He joined Phi Psi fraternity, and notably put his photographic experience and skill to work as Director of Photography for the Amherst Student, where (in the days before digital photography) he pioneered the newspaper’s transition from the use of file photos cast in lead to current action pictures engraved on plastic blocks in time for next-day printing.  The Sports Editor and the Managing Editor of the news pages were understandably delighted by and grateful for this quantum leap that Fred inaugurated and repeated reliably for each issue of the paper, twice a week.

He graduated from Amherst with honors in economics, and continued his education with a graduate degree in metallurgy from M.I.T.  He then moved to Palo Alto, Cal., to work in the nuclear industry, supervising lab and fuel fabrication operations and performing fuel cycle analyses and research.  

In 1965 he joined the business division of Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International) as a consultant and later as a director.  He worked with manufacturers and metals producers evaluating new products and technologies, R & D effectiveness, and business strategies.  Many of his clients were overseas, and during his career he visited 85 countries.  The family travelled extensively, and lived in England for six years.  His daughter Susan recalls that “he travelled everywhere on everything, but he loved trains and cruises.”

Fred retired from SRI in 1996, primarily due to kidney problems, and had a successful kidney transplant in early 2001, a few days after the death of his wife, Jane.  He passed away quietly on July 10, 2011.  He is survived by daughters Susan and Anne, sons John and Paul, granddaughter Emily, and brother Thomas.  

Chuck Grimstad ’54

 

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