Eugene E. Grassel, age 99 of Oak Ridge, died on Friday, July 10, 2020 at the Courtyards of Oak Ridge.
He was born in Girard, IL on February 21, 1921 to Harry Medford Grassel and Ora Lois Seaton Grassel. After finishing Girard High School, he worked for the CCC in Carlinville, IL and attended Blackburn College.
A World War II veteran, he was selected as an elite member of the Signal Corps stationed in the Philippines, reporting directly to General Aiken. After the was he studied Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics at the University of Illinois – Champaign, where he met his wife, Norma Jeanne Beggs. They married in 1949 and moved to Baltimore where his career began at Chemical Corp which soon transferred him to Oak Ridge. Next, he worked as a Health Physicist for Union Carbide at the Y-12 plant studying how uranium deposits in bones. Y-12 later assigned him to the chemistry lab where he analyzed the remains of exploded bombs. In 1956 he moved to Minneapolis, MN as the Principal Scientist for Donaldson Co., until 1980. During this time, he published research and was awarded 2 air filtration patents, pioneered technology instrumental in preventing wartime chemical agents from entering military vehicles, developed filtration paper for autos, heavy equipment, computer drives and the USS Enterprise. He was a charter member of the Health Physics Society and a founding member of the American Association for Aerosol Research.
He retired to Oak Ridge in 1981 where he continued as a consultant and to teach at Pellissippi Technical College.
He was a devoted husband and father who found time to usher for the United Methodist Church for over 30 years, was an avid theater goer, loved books, enjoyed gardening, pondering Relativity, and just about every other subject in God’s green earth.
He was preceded in death by wife Norma Jeanne Grassel, and brother Herbert Leroy Grassel.
He is survived by sons Eric E. Grassel and wife Cindy and Robert R. Grassel and wife Julie; grandson Patrick Nelson Sommerfield and sister-in-law Mary Lou Beggs.
Memorials in Eugene’s memory can be made to the American Legion Atomic City Post #199, 100 N. Main Street, Rm#114, Clinton, TN 37716.
In keeping with COVID-19 recommendations, a private graveside service will be held at Oak Ridge Memorial Park. Military Honors will be provided by the Tennessee National Guard Honor Guard.
Weatherford Mortuary is handling the arrangements. An online guestbook can be signed at www.weatherfordmortuary.com.