Frederick Carl Schwerer
Feb. 1, 1941-Oct. 24, 2023
Palo Alto, California
Frederick Carl Schwerer III, 82, of Palo Alto, California passed away October 24, 2023, at home, surrounded by his family.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 1, 1941, Fred was preceded in death by his parents, Frederick Carl Schwerer II and Claire (Swinney), and his sister, Paula Schwerer.
Fred is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Carol (Romesburg), his two children, daughter Elizabeth and son Eric, his sister Linda Beale, son-in-law Kingston Duffie, daughter-in-law Kayla (Pongrac), grandchildren Claire Duffie, Cornelius Duffie, Ivan Schwerer, and Oliver Schwerer, and nieces Amy McLaughlin, Rebecca Dise, and Jennifer Wheeler.
Fred grew up in Ridgway and Connellsville, Pennsylvania, and St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, graduating from Connellsville High School in 1958. He earned a B.S. in Engineering Science from Pennsylvania State University in 1962 and a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Cornell University in 1967. A research scientist, Fred studied the properties of materials---steel alloys, cement, moon rocks, coal, aluminum, asbestos---at U.S. Steel Research Center, Unconventional Energy Group, Alcoa Research Laboratory, and R.J. Lee Group.
Fred loved the Youghiogheny River, the Okefenokee Swamp, and the forests of western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He traversed them on foot as well as by car, bicycle, canoe, kayak, and raft. A voracious learner, his intellectual and practical interests ranged from new areas of scientific research to woodworking. He loved introducing his children and grandchildren to many of these enthusiasms, among them spelunking, cultural festivals, bridge, and college sports.
Fred volunteered with various community organizations, including food banks, tutoring and mentoring programs, United Way, Palo Alto Bridge Club, and Martha Lloyd Community Services, where he served as a board member for many years.
Fred was renowned for his sense of humor. His family and friends miss his wit, his insight, his calm and steady example, and his principled, self-sacrificing generosity.