Joseph Donald Musil, 99, of Ely, died Thursday, April 30, 2020, at Cottage Grove Place, following a long and blessed life with his children, grandchildren and beloved wife.
He was born Nov. 20, 1920, to parents Joseph F. Musil and Augusta (Sedivy) Musil in Cleburne, Riley County, Kan. He was preceded in death by his parents; and his wife, Bernice Edna Sophia (Carlson) Musil. He was a baptized member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Cleburne. He attended grade school and rural high school from 1933 to 1937, both in Cleburne, Kan. From 1937 to 1941, he attended Kansas State University in Manhattan, graduating with a B.S. degree in electrical engineering. He also graduated with an M.S. from the University of Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1945, and a Ph.D. from Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, in 1968, both in electrical engineering.
From 1941-43, he was employed as a design engineer in the industrial motor division of Westinghouse Electric Co. in East Pittsburgh, Pa. From 1944-45, he was employed as an engineer with the Kellex Corp. of the Manhattan District Corps of Engineers at New York City in the Oak Ridge, Tenn., Atomic Energy Project. In 1946-47, he was an instructor and research assistant at the University of Pittsburgh, electrical engineering and physics department.
From 1947 to 1957, he was employed as an electrical design engineer for the Electric Machinery Manufacturing Co. of Minneapolis, Minn. It was there he married his wife, Bernice Edna Carlson, then a nurse at Bethesda Lutheran Hospital, St. Paul, Minn. She also was from Cleburne, Kan. They went back to be married at her home church, Mariadahl Lutheran Church, rural Cleburne, on June 29, 1949. To this union, three children were born in St. Paul, Joseph Evan, now in Ely, Iowa, Mary Ann Musil, now in Helena, Mont., and Daniel Philip, now in Ely.
In August 1957, Donald moved his family to Ames, where he taught electrical engineering and pursued further graduate work at Iowa State University in Ames. A fourth child, Martha Louise Musil, now of Texcoco, Mexico, was born in Ames. While residing in Ames, they became active members of Gilbert Lutheran Church. Before retiring from Iowa State University in 1984, as associate professor, four years were spent with this wife and four young children, 1961 to 1965, as a missionary teacher of science and mathematics at Ilboru Lutheran Secondary School, Arusha, Tanzania, adding freshmen and sophomore college levels to the Cambridge High School system there. Also, in 1971-72, under Iowa State University auspice, he and wife and Martha, then in eighth grade and in the year of integration, went to Prairie View Agriculture and Mechanics University, Prairie View, Texas, to teach electrical engineering.
In 1985, he and his wife moved to Ely to be near their sons, Joe and Dan and their families, in their retirement. They were members of St. John Lutheran Church in Ely, were active in Ely Senior Dining, Town and Country Club, Ely Friendship Club, and Good Earth Garden Club. He served a term on the Ely City Council and on the Heritage Area on Aging Agency. He was a life member of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers.
He will be remembered as a loving and devoted father to his four surviving married children and grandfather to his 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
His wife, Bernice, preceded him in death on Jan. 11, 2004. His living desire was that his children and grandchildren have an equal or better life and more opportunities than was offered him. God Bless his memory.
Memorials may be directed to the St. John Lutheran Church Library. Celebration of Life services will be livestreamed starting at 11 a.m. Monday, May 11, on Brosh Chapel's Facebook page. The Rev. Brian Middleswarth from St. John Lutheran Church in Ely will preside over the services. Burial will be in Rogers Grove Cemetery, near Ely, following the services.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.broshchapel.com.