Fritz Coester, 98, a longtime resident of Iowa City, died Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, at the Bird House Hospice Home of Johnson County. His family will greet friends from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, at Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service in Iowa City. Burial of cremains will be this spring in the Newport Township Cemetery. Instead of flowers and plants, the family kindly requests that memorials be directed to the Bird House Hospice Home of Johnson County.
Born Oct. 16, 1921, in Berlin, Germany, to parents Robert and Helene (Pfaff) Coester, Fritz grew up in Berlin and Freiburg, Germany. He attended university in Zurich, Switzerland. He came to the United States in 1947 to teach theoretical nuclear physics. In 1952, he married Elizabeth M. Garrett. In 1964, he went to work for Argonne National Laboratory in Lamont, Ill., while continuing to teach part time and collaborate with other scientists at the University of Iowa. Fritz officially retired from Argonne in his 70s, but continued to work there full time into his 80s. He maintained his office at the University of Iowa and continued to collaborate with other scientists and work with Ph.D. students into his 90s.
Survivors include his children, Janet C. Coester (Richard Driver) of Iowa City, William R. Coester (Lisa) of Cedar Rapids, Hans C. Coester (Cindi) of Fort Collins, Colo., Susan E. C. Daufeldt (John) of Conroy and Thomas M. Coester (Geraldine) of Marina Del Rey, Calif.; his grandchildren, Alexa A. Coester and Jacob M. Coester of Fort Collins, Michael F. Coester, Garrett E. Coester and Taylor M. Coester of Cedar Rapids and Helena I. Coester of Marina Del Rey; and numerous Swiss and German relatives.
Fritz was preceded in death by his wife and a son, Michael F. Coester.