Joseph M. Heimerl dies at 70

Aberdeen Proving Ground physicist and author

May 15, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Joseph Mark Heimerl, a retired Aberdeen Proving Ground physicist and author, died Tuesday of cancer at his Havre de Grace home. He was 70.

Dr. Heimerl, the son of a high school teacher and a homemaker, was born and raised in Gloucester, N.J.

After graduating from St. Joseph Preparatory High School in Philadelphia in 1957, he earned a bachelor's degree in 1961 in physics from St. Joseph's University, also in Philadelphia.

He earned a doctorate in physics in 1968 from the University of Pittsburgh, and from 1968 to 1970 conducted research for NASA at Moffett Field in Mountain View, Calif.

Dr. Heimerl went to work in 1970 in the ballistics research laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground and later in the human research engineering department. He retired in 2005.

Two weeks before his death, he completed "Basic Arithmetic to Algebra: A Focused Review."

"It's geared toward someone home-schooling a child or those who want to learn basic math," said his wife of 42 years, the former Catherine Dolan, a retired English teacher who taught in Harford County's public schools.

Dr. Heimerl was an avid collector of nonfiction books and enjoyed traveling. He also liked attending Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concerts.

He was a longtime active communicant of St. Joan of Arc Roman Catholic Church, 230 Law St., Aberdeen, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Also surviving are a son, Mark P. Heimerl of Bel Air; a daughter, Catey A. Williams of Philadelphia; a sister, Johanna Heimerl of Virginia Beach, Va.; and two grandchildren.

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