In Memoriam: Paul R. Yoder, Jr. 1927-2016
Paul R. Yoder, Jr., an OSA Fellow and prominent engineer of optical components and instruments, passed away on 26 May 2016 in his home in Norwalk, CT, USA. Many of the components and instruments designed by Yoder were used by the US military, NASA, and the medical community. He was 89.
Yoder received a BS degree in physics from Juniata College in 1947 and MS in physics from Penn State University in 1950. He co-founded Tauton Technologies, Inc. which pioneered the research and development of human corneal reshaping using Excimer lasers in order to correct refractive vision errors. His work was the foundation for LASIK vision correction. Yoder published extensively including 7 research books, 6 technical papers, and held 14 US and foreign patents. He also taught opto-mechanical engineering courses in the USA, Europe, and Asia.
Yoder had been an OSA member for 64 years and served on the OSA Publications Council (1982-1984). He was recognized with OSA Fellow status in 1974 and received the OSA Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award in 1997 for his definitive, highly regarded reference books on opto-mechanical design, as well as his numerous journal articles and many short courses on optical engineering topics. He was also a Fellow of SPIE and received the SPIE Directors Award (1996, 1997) and the George W. Goddard Award (1999).
Yoder was married to the late S. Elizabeth Yoder (Betty) for 58 years and was dedicated to his family including his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Yoder was an active member of the Wilton Congregational Church having been a member of the choir and serving as deacon. In 2000, Yoder and his wife established The Paul and Betty Yoder Foundation which provides educational grants to women in transition as a way to honor their parents. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in the name of Paul Yoder either to the Wilton Congregational Church or The Paul and Betty Yoder Foundation (PO Box 1065, Edgemont, PA, 19028-1065).