David Vermilyea

Obituary of David A. Vermilyea

Dr. David A. Vermilyea Born on October 11, 1923 in Troy to the late Wesley and Lois (Warner) Vermilyea, David grew up in Lansingburgh and had been a long time resident of Niskayuna and Schenectady. He served in the United States Army in Germany during World War II, and was decorated with the Purple Heart. He drove and maintained a truck for an artillery battalion. Dave earned a PhD in metallurgy from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, graduating in 1953. Dr. Vermilyea was first employed as a metallurgist. He also taught metallurgy and electrochemistry at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for a short time. Dave worked at the General Electric Company Research Laboratory in Niskayuna for 33 years retiring in 1983. His areas of specialty were metallurgy and electrochemistry. He also spent several years as a key member of the technical planner team determining the focus areas for the Center. Dr. Vermilyea was the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Edward Acheson Award from the Electrochemical Society, the Coolidge Fellowship from the GE Research Laboratory, and the Whitney Award from the Association of Corrosion Engineers. He served as Editor of the Annual Review of Materials Sciences, and was President of the Electrochemical Society in 1974-1975. He had a hundred articles published in scientific journals, with an exceptionally high number of citations, and was awarded 9 patents. Dave loved the outdoors. He was a proud member and chapter head of the Adirondack Mountain Club, and had climbed all 46 of the Adirondack High Peaks several times. He was also the third recorded Winter 46er, and guided two of his children to completion of the 46 as well. Upon his retirement he purchased 60 acres of woodland in Pattersonville and "went to work" there four days a week, creating a beautiful forest with many hand-planted trees. He was a man of letters, whose classical education showed throughout his life. He could recite many famous poems word for word, and had many much-read poetry books with dozens of bookmarks in them. He and Jane probably solved several thousand New York Times crosswords and acrostics. He also continued to learn about new ideas and technology throughout his life, with many recent acquisitions by authors in fields from psychology and sociology to astrophysics and cosmology. Dave also had a lovely singing voice and loved to sing any time he got a chance. In addition to his parents, Dave was predeceased by his loving wife of 64 years, Jane, and by his brother, Richard Vermilyea, who was killed in action during World War II. He was also predeceased by his sister, Jeanne Vermilyea Ackerman. He is survived by his sister, Laurie Wolfe, his two daughters, Carol and her husband Roger Cherney of Newton, New Jersey and Barbara and her husband Glenn Johnson of Shelburne, VT, and by his son Mark and wife Kathleen of Niskayuna. He is also survived by nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. His family was a source of great pride and joy to him. Arrangements are by Jones Funeral Home, Inc., 1503 Union Street, Schenectady. To leave a condolence for the family, please visit www.jonesfh.net. Dave and Jane spent their final decades at Kingsway in Schenectady, and were very happy during their time there.
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