Cover photo for Wilfred Freyberger's Obituary
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1928 Wilfred 2015

Wilfred Freyberger

February 28, 1928 — April 30, 2015

Obituary of Wilfred Freyberger Houghton Wilfred Lawson Freyberger, 87, of Houghton passed away on April 30, 2015 at the Our Lady of Mercy nursing home in Hubbell. Wil, who had resided in Houghton since 1964, was born in Irvington, NJ on February 28, 1928 the son of Charles and Louise (Penne) Freyberger. He graduated from Irvington High School in 1944 and from MIT with an undergraduate degree in physics in 1947 and an ScD degree in metallurgy in 1955. From 1947-51 he worked as a research assistant at MIT where he met his future wife, Ruth Leonard of Melrose, MA. Wil and Ruth married in 1951. Through his research he became a widely known authority on the use of froth flotation in the concentration of industrial minerals. Wil worked in industry for several years, joining the New Jersey Zinc Co. operations in Palmerton, PA as Research Investigator in 1955. Through NJ Zinc, he spent a year in Mexican Hat, UT working for Texas Minerals on uranium processing. In 1960 he moved to Stamford, CT to work for American Cyanamid. In 1964 Wil came to Michigan Tech as Associate Professor of Metallurgical Engineering, was appointed Professor of Metallurgical Engineering in 1968 and served as a Research Engineer in the Institute of Mineral Research (IMR) until 1970 when he became Director of IMR. He supervised graduate thesis research, published numerous research papers on mineral processing and was the holder of four patents in the field. He retired as Professor Emeritus in January 1986 and was later honored with induction into the Academy of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University. Wil was an avid reader of history and a great conversationalist who had wide interests as a highly knowledgeable opera fan often visiting the Met, a lover of advanced thermodynamics, a philatelist, and someone who enjoyed year-round discussion of baseball. In his early years in Houghton he was a regular cross-country skier. He also enjoyed playing bridge, rug hooking, photography, flower gardening and summers at Lake Gogebic. Preceding him in death were his parents, his son David Mason Freyberger and his brother, Douglas Penne Freyberger. Wil is survived by his wife Ruth, daughters Louise (George) Clitty, Jean and Ann (Vince) Short, his grandchildren of whom he was very proud, Katherine and Samuel Clitty, Alexander and Andrew Short and several nieces and nephews. Friends and family are invited to a memorial gathering to be held on Saturday, May 9, 2015 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. at The Bluffs Ballroom, 1000 Bluff View Dr., Houghton, MI 49931. To leave online condolences, please visit www.plowefuneralhome.com. Memorials may be directed to Beacon House, 1301 N. Third Street, Marquette, MI 49855 (upbeaconhouse.org); or Special Olympics Michigan, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859 (somi.org.) To send flowers to the family of Wilfred Freyberger, please visit Tribute Store
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