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FRED MARTIN REAMES

Born: August 12, 1940
Died: July 19, 2012

Fred M. Reames was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, son of Mark Edson and Gretchen Ellen Mielenz Reames. He grew up in Denver and graduated from South High School. His older brother Mark, Jr., graduated from Yale in the class of 1956.

At Yale was a member of Trumbull College where he was on the Dramat and the college tennis and swimming teams. He was a physics honors major, on Dean's List and awarded scholarships. Fred was also a member of the Political Union.

After graduation he remained at Yale to earn his Ph.D. in physics in 1968. On August 29, 1962, he married Sherry Granzow, who subsequently earned her M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. in English also from Yale.

Fred said in the Banner that his goal was teaching. He fulfilled his goal. He taught at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama for 8 years and rose to become chairman of the Physics Department. After a year with a special National Science Foundation program at M.I.T., he and Sherry relocated to Madison, Wisconsin where he worked as a consulting engineer for 8 years. In the late 1980's Fred joined the academic staff at the University of Wisconsin. He taught undergraduates Mechanical Engineering and conducted research in Statistics, Space Science and Meteorology. Wisconsin honored him with 8 teaching awards.

After Fred retired in May 2006, he audited courses at the university, tutored high school students in math, mentored, and did lots of science experiments with his grandson. Fred was enthusiastic about traveling, visiting ancient monuments and medieval churches, theater-going (especially in London), and hiking in the Colorado mountains. He enjoyed being a referee in Madison youth soccer leagues and loved to watch professional soccer when he could no longer keep up with the youngsters. He was an avid squash player well into 2012 and took special pleasure in challenging players many decades his junior. Fred was an early advocate of energy conservation, always tried to drive as little as possible, and invested in the most efficient car and home-heating system he could find. He volunteered generously for his church, the Democratic Party, and Madison-area Urban Ministry, where he served on the board from 2006 until the month before his death. When he learned in December 2010 that he had an incurable form of leukemia, Fred accepted the diagnosis with equanimity, explaining to anyone who asked that he had a good life already.

Fred is survived by his wife Sherry, who was a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin prior to her retirement in 2009, his sons Kent (wife Heather) of Madison, Wisconsin and Martin (wife Nicole Grabow) of Minneapolis, former daughter-in-law Mary Lang Reames, grandchildren Justin and Elizabeth, nephews Matthew and Seth, Seth's children, Kotaro and Momoko and numerous cousins. His brother Mark predeceased him.

In our 25th Reunion Book Fred proclaimed his joy with life:

I'm happily married, with 2 children (neither on drugs as best I can tell), enough to eat, a warm home (no small deal in Wisconsin), and a little left over for vacations from time to time. I have been truly blessed.

Sherry graciously shared stories for this essay on their active, fun-filled life during more than 50 years together.

In accord with Fred's wishes, the family requested that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the Endowment Fund of Madison-area Urban Ministry.




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