In Memoriam: Alfred C. Webber, 1907-2012
Alfred C. Webber, an OSA Fellow Emeritus and a member of the Society since 1943, died on 8 August 2012 at his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. He was 104.
Born in Lisbon Falls, Maine in 1907, Webber graduated from Lisbon Falls High School, Bates College (B.S. 1928) and Boston University (M.S. 1940). He started his career as an educator, teaching science in high schools in Franklin and Brookline, Massachusetts. In 1942 he joined the DuPont Company’s Plastic Department Research Laboratory in Arlington, New Jersey, where he set up the company’s first Physical Measurements Laboratory. When that department was moved to the Experimental Station in Wilmington, Delaware, Webber followed. He developed standardized test methods for comparison of products in research and development throughout the company. He retired from DuPont in 1972.
Webber served as president of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) in 1962 and was the plastics chairman of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). He was named a Fellow of the Optical Society of America in 1972. He also received the International Award given by the Society of Plastics Engineers and the ASTM Award of Merit.
He was very active in the community, establishing Cub Packs and Scout Troops, and working on Chadds Ford May Fairs and reunions. He served on the Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board, was active with the Chadds Ford Historical Society, and was Judge of Elections in Birmingham Township. He became a Director Emeritus of the Kennett Symphony Orchestra of Chester County.
His hobbies of stamp collecting, gardening, astronomy, photography and lapidary filled his retirement years. Most of all, Webber enjoyed sharing his knowledge and love of these things. He was a Life Member of the Delaware Astronomical Society, where he received the Luther J. Porter Educator Award, a Fellow of Mount Cuba Astronomical Observatory, a Life Member of The Tuscarora Lapidary Society, and an Honorary Member of the Delaware Photographic Society. He was a Brother of the Granite-Corinthian Lodge No. 34, serving as a Mason for 81 years.
He proudly returned at age 100 to his 80th Anniversary at Bates College, leading the parade with the banner of the Class of 1928, and presented the Bates Mineralogy Department with a gift of his collection of 2600 micromount minerals.
Webber was predeceased by his wife of 52 years, Margaret F. Vaughan. He is survived by four children, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on 25 August 2012 at Longwood Funeral Home, 913 East Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square, PA. Memorial contributions may be made to the Kennett Symphony Orchestra of Chester County, Mt. Cuba Observatory or Bates College.
If you would like to make a memorial donation to the OSA Foundation in honor of Alfred C. Webber, please visit www.osa-foundation.org/give
This obituary was contributed by the Webber family.