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Alfred Wilson Nolle

Obituary for Alfred Wilson Nolle

July 28, 1919 - February 11, 2017
Austin, Texas | Age 97

Obituary

Alfred Wilson Nolle of Austin, Texas died February 11, 2017. He was born July 28, 1919 in Columbia, Missouri, the son of Berda Stuart Wilson Nolle and Dr. Alfred Henry Nolle. His father was on the faculty of the University of Missouri and the family moved to San Marcos when he was 6 weeks old where his father served as a dean at Southwest Texas State Teachers College. He graduated from San Marcos High School in 1935 and attended college at Southwest Texas State, graduating Alpha Chi with a degree in Chemistry in 1938.

He moved to Austin to do graduate work at the University of Texas where he studied Physics and Chemistry. His Doctorate studies were interrupted in December 1941 when he went to Cambridge, MA to work in the Underwater Sound Laboratory at Harvard University, continuing there until 1948. He met his wife, Margaret "Peggy" Anne Phillips, in Cambridge where she had graduated from Radcliffe and was working at the MIT Radiation Laboratory in radar development. They were married in Claremont, NH in August of 1946. He received his Ph.D. from MIT in 1947 and they moved to Austin in 1948.

He joined the faculty at the University of Texas as a Physics professor in 1948, retiring from his faculty position in 1989, continuing with the department until 1994, and became a Professor Emeritus in 1995. His research included acoustics and condensed matter physics (elastomers, polymers, and crystalline solids) and with his research in the physics of musical instruments he was honored to earn distinction as a Fellow in the American Physical Society and the Acoustical Society of America. He continued research on physics of musical tone sources after his retirement.

Wilson, as he was known to many, was a loyal member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Austin, served as a founding member of the UT Faculty Council, supported Meals on Wheels which Peggy helped found in Austin, enjoyed the Austin Symphony, and was a lifetime member of the International Acoustical Society where he often presented his acoustics of music research. He was an accomplished pianist and delighted in playing his Johannus digital organ, enjoyed travel, reading, and his many lifelong friends and colleagues. He was always inquisitive and had an amazing capacity for sharing his knowledge and interests with a humble and kind heart to everyone he encountered.

His family included his beloved wife Peggy, who died in January 1999, and he is survived by his cousin, Thomas Thompson of Springfield, Missouri. His close extended family include his wife's nephews, Lloyd P. Wood of Tuftonboro, NH, William H. Wood III of Bow, NH, and his wife Anne Marie and their children Brittany Wood and Brandon Wood, Robert P. Wood of Tuftonboro, NH, his wife Joyce and their children Andrew Wood and Allison Wood, his wife's niece Barbara J. Wood Garabedian of Tuftonboro, NH and her husband Martin and their children Kristin Garabedian, Matthew Garabedian, and Michael Garabedian.

A funeral service will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church, 209 W. 27th Street, Austin, Texas on Thursday March 2, 2017 at 3pm. A light reception will follow in Kingsolving Parish Hall and interment will be in the spring at Mountain View Cemetery in Claremont, NH.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to All Saints Episcopal Church, 209 West 27th Street, Austin, Texas 78705. Donations may also be made to a graduate endowment in the UT Department of Physics online at http://txsci.net/NolleMemorial or mailed to the College of Natural Sciences, External Relations, The University of Texas at Austin, 120 Inner Campus Drive, G2500, Austin, TX 78712.

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  • In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to All Saints Episcopal Church, 209 West 27th Street, Austin, Texas 78705. Donations may also be made to a graduate endowment in the UT Department of Physics :
  • Online at http://txsci.net/NolleMemorial or mailed to the College of Natural Sciences, External Relations, The University of Texas at Austin, 120 Inner Campus Drive, G2500, Austin, TX 78712.

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Austin, TX 78705
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