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Percy Ferman Milster

Iowa City

Percy Ferman Milster, 69, passed into the arms of his loving Father on Monday, July 23, 2018, after a brief and unexpected complication from a lung transplant received in 2015 at Cleveland Clinic. He was at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics palliative care unit when he died.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 28, at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, 2675 E. Washington St., Iowa City, with military honors by the Naval Honor Guard. Visitation will be Friday, July 27, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Lensing Oak Hill, Coralville, 210 Holiday Rd., Coralville.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the University of Iowa Pulmonary Rehab Program, 200 Hawkins Dr., Iowa City, IA 52242, (319)
356-8396, ask for Janie or Kim; or to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.
Ferman served 20 years in the U.S. Navy. His service specialized in warships and nuclear submarine construction, maintenance and repairs. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri in 1975 and did post-graduate work at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif., where he received a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering. Ferman retired from active duty service as a lieutenant commander.
Ferman joined the University of Iowa in 1991 as manager of the power plant and served in that capacity for 15 years. He was instrumental in several significant energy reduction modifications and the development of the Biomass Fuel Project (oat hulls). As a result, the UI became recognized as an early leader in developing renewable fuels and received several awards, including two Governor's Iowa Environmental Excellence Awards (2004) and APPA's Effective and Innovative Practices Award (2005).
In 2006, Ferman was promoted to associate director, utilities and energy management, and he transitioned from managing the power plant to utility system strategic planning and renewable energy development.
In 2011, Ferman joined the UI Office of Sustainability as the principal engineer in renewables, where he developed and led the UI Biomass Partnership to help the campus achieve the 2020 target of 40 percent renewable energy use. Ferman was instrumental in working with over 20 different public and private organizations and state agencies to help identify sources of renewable fuel for the University of Iowa.
From that effort, several key partnerships developed, including a close working relationship with biomass researchers at Iowa State University. His concept of building renewable energy sources using the sustainability triple bottom line of "environment, economy and equality" was gradually formed into a working model. Ferman investigated the use of perennial grasses, such as miscanthus x giganteus, which later grew into more than 350 acres of plant usage. Ferman conducted inquiries into other potential fuels, and it is because of his groundbreaking work that a statewide effort started with federal agencies and other resources regarding perennial fuel crops. For example, the Cedar Rapids Airport Commission created a new partnership with ISU to grow miscanthus as a fuel crop and as an erosion control mechanism.
Ferman was a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers as a registered Professional Engineer. He also was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Ferman was a compassionate individual who delivered meals for the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center through the Home Delivered Meals program. He also provided inspiration for pulmonary patients at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics' Pulmonary Rehab Program. Ferman served on the board of Systems Unlimited for six years.
He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Kathryn "Kate" Milster; and three daughters, Elizabeth Milster of Iowa City, Ellen Milster Davis (Adam) of Pierce, Colo., and Sarah Dresden (Robert) of West Branch, Iowa. He also leaves behind two grandchildren, Dakotah and A.J. Dresden of West Branch; two brothers, David Milster (Judy) of Payson, Ariz., and Tom Milster (Carola) of Tucson, Ariz.; a sister, Becky McMillin (Jim) of Sibley, Mo.; his aunt, Clara Milster; as well as many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and extended family.
Ferman encouraged others to become organ donors to prolong and provide better quality of life for transplant recipients. He will be donating some of his own life-saving organs as well. Contact the Iowa Donor Network for information on organ donation.
Online condolences may be directed to www.lensingfuneral.com.