[saymaListserv] Memorial for Nelson Fuson in Nashville
pennywright at earthlink.net
Thu Feb 23 11:01:33 JEST 2006
Under the care of Nashville Monthly Meeting, a meeting for worship in memory of Nelson Fuson will be held Saturday, March 18, 2006 at 1:00 PM at the meeting house.
530 26th Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37209
Please contact Dan Fuson at 615-661-6634 or danmfuson at comcast.net if you plan to attend. We anticipate a large turn out and need to have a sense of how many might be attending in order to plan for food, parking and seating.
On behalf of Nshville Monthly Meeting and the Fuson Family, Penelope Wright
Below please find an obituary for Nelson.
C. NELSON FUSON
1913 -- 2006
Nelson Fuson passed away peacefully, Sunday, February 5, 2006 at Kendal-at-Longwood, Kennett Square, PA, a Quaker retirement center.
Nelson was born on September 4, 1913, in Guang-zhou, (Canton) China, to
American Presbyterian missionaries, Chester and Phebe Fuson. Nelson learned to speak both English and Chinese (Cantonese) as a child. He spent most of his first 15 years in China, returning to Emporia, Kansas, U.S.A., with his family on furlough years
at 3 and 9 years if age. He attended grade school in Canton and the first two years of high school in Shanghai before returning, at age 15, to Emporia to complete high school, and to graduate from the College of Emporia in 1934.
Nelson earned an M.A. in physics and astronomy at Kansas University in 1935
and a Ph.D. in physics at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, 1938. His doctoral thesis was on the far infrared spectrum of "heavy water" vapor (D2O). He then completed 3 years as an instructor in physics at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
when, in 1941, the U.S. became involved in World War II. Nelson, who was a pacifist because of his experiences in China, was drafted as a conscientious objector (CO) to military service. He worked for 4 ½ years as a CO in Civilian Public Service (CPS) at camps at Patapsco, Maryland, Goshen, IN, Big Flats, NY, and Trenton, ND, as well as
for a semester at Columbia University, NYC (preparing for relief administration), several months at Pendle Hill, Pennsylvania, directing a CPS China Relief unit (which was
blocked by a congressional military appropriations bill rider), and a final year in CPS "detached service" (doing infrared research on penicillin at the University of Michigan).
Nelson and Marian Darnell were married on June 23, 1945, at the Moorestown, NJ, Friends Meeting. Finding the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) much more compatible to his religious seeking than the Presbyterian Church, Nelson soon joined Friends. Nelson and Marian first lived in Ann Arbor, MI. In 1946, when Nelson was
released from CPS, they moved to Baltimore, MD, where Nelson did research on Infrared Detectors at Johns Hopkins University for 2 ½ years, then taught physics at Howard University in Washington, DC, for a year.
In 1949 the family moved to Nashville, TN. Nelson became Chairman of the
Physics Department at Fisk University, an historically African-American university. He chaired the physics department and directed the Infrared Spectroscopy research laboratory. The Fisk physics graduate students doing research in the infrared laboratory were very helpful in integrating the South-Eastern Section of the American
Nelson, with his family lived in Bordeaux, France, 1956-59 while on sabbatical leave from Fisk University. During their first year there Nelson was doing research, the last two years teaching Infrared Spectroscopy (in French!) as a "Professeur Associe" on
the Faculte des Sciences in Bordeaux. During these 3 years the family had a chance to see a good many countries in Europe.
Nelson and Marian, Fisk students and other faculty families were very much
involved in bringing about racial desegregation during the "sit-ins", "stand-ins", and "freedom-rides" in the South in the 1960s.
Nelson directed the Fisk Infrared Institutes for over 28 years at Fisk University. This was a unique workshop that brought together scientists from all over the US and several foreign countries to study and learn about the about Infrared Spectroscopy and
Gas Chromatography. In 1965, a Latin American Fisk Infrared Institute was held in San Paulo, Brazil.
Nelson and Marian helped start a Friends Meeting in Nashville in 1963. Nelson served two years as Clerk of the newly formed Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting. He directed American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) International Student Seminars 5 summers, 4 in the US, and one in France. Nelson and Marian trained as
facilitators for Couple Enrichment and led many such workshops at Friends General Conferences, or Friends Meetings during the 80's and 90's. They were the Resident Couple at Honolulu Friends Meeting, for two years, 1983-85, after retirement from Fisk.
In 1998, Nelson and Marian left Nashville and Fisk University, and moved to Kendal-at-Longwood, Kennett Square, PA. Nelson did lots of volunteer work there the first three years, but in his later years his health problems limited his participation. Up to the very end he enjoyed singing in the Kendal Chorus and reading in Play Readers.
He was predeceased by his older brother, Ben. He is survived by his younger brother, William (Richmond, IN). He is also survived by his wife, Marian (Kennett Square, PA), their older son, Allan, his wife, Sue and their daughter, Jessica (West Chester, OH), and their younger son Dan, his wife, Nancy, and their two sons, Matthew
and Michael (Brentwood, TN).
If you wish to make a gift in Nelson Fuson's name, these are his choices:
. Fisk University
. American Friends Service Committee
. Kendal's Entry Fee Assistance Fund
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