Arthur Pavlovic

Obituary of Arthur Stephen Pavlovic

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Arthur S. Pavlovic, 98, of Morgantown passed away peacefully on February 22, 2024. He was born on December 2, 1925 in Bedford, Ohio, the son of the late Bohumil and Anastasia (Javorsky) Pavlovic. His parents were of Czech descent and Czech was his first language. Arthur was educated in the public schools of Maple Heights, Ohio and graduated from the High School in June, 1943. He immediately enlisted in the US Navy as an Apprentice Seaman and was enrolled in the Navy V-12 Engineering program at Yale University. In January, 1946, he graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering and was commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy. After graduation he boarded the light cruiser U.S.S. Cleveland with Newport R.I. as the base port. This was a goodwill tour, so the ship visited various ports on the East coast from Quebec, Canada to Bermuda. In June the V-12 program was closed, the recruits were discharged and told to go home. Arthur, however, felt that he had not had enough of the Navy and signed up as a one year contractual officer. He was assigned to the PCE 842 in Apra Harbor on the island of Guam. Being the senior officer he was made the executive Officer. The Captain had not yet arrived and this was miserable duty. The beginning of August the navy budget was reduced and all contractual officers were given the opportunity to be released from the contract. Art jumped at the chance and moved to the island until transportation was arranged for him to go home. In the meantime Art was the token commissioned officer temporarily assigned to several small ship runs to supply the Caroline and Marianas islands. At the end of September the USS Mitchel (ex-troop transport) appeared in Apra Harbor. This ship was refitted to almost a luxury cruise ship. Its purpose was to bring military families to and from the Orient. Art's work assignment was to be the Assistant Navigator. He had no training in navigation but he learned fast. The ship left Guam and headed towards Yokosuka, Japan, and traveled on to Shanghai, China, Tsingtao and finally to Taku (North China) where the ship was boarded by 1500 Marines and 60 civilians. From here the ship proceeded to the island of Samar in the Philippines to pick up several hundred more Marines. The ship continued on to retrace its path to San Diego where the marines disembarked. Then on to San Francisco where Arthur continued on to Vallejo, California where he was detached from the Navy. On arrival at his home in Cleveland, he enrolled in the master's program in Physics at Case Western Reserve. On June 21, 1947 Arthur married Barbara Wise, his high school sweetheart. He received his Master's Degree in May, 1949 and immediately proceeded to Columbia University in New York City to work toward a PhD degree in Nuclear Physics. Two years later he dropped out of the PhD program and took employment at the Battelle Institute in Columbus, Ohio as an engineer working on semiconductor materials development. Two years later he moved his family to Akron, Ohio to work with Goodyear Aircraft Company performing mathematical and computer work on various regulation systems. Arthur still dreamed of getting a PhD so he could work on his own ideas rather than working on things that his employer wanted. Although he liked his job at Goodyear he got an opportunity that he could not pass up at Penn State University where he was employed and could work on a PhD. Thus the family moved again to State College, Pennsylvania. After five years of effort Art received his PhD in 1956. This was the time when jobs were plentiful and the problem was to decide which one to take. Art chose to join the Metals Laboratory of Electro Metallurgical Company (Later renamed Union Carbide Metals) in Niagara Falls, N.Y. After three years there, Art longed for the nine month contract of Academia so he accepted a position as an assistant Professor of Physics in the Physics department at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia where he moved his family in 1959. Barb and Art spent the rest of their lives in Morgantown, where they raised their four children, Karl, Stephen, Noel and Paula. Art enjoyed teaching and doing physical research. He set himself, with the aid of two graduate students, to create a laboratory for the preparation of materials and the measurement of the physical and chemical properties of new solid materials. This required funds which were nonexistent in the department but Art had prepared himself before he joined WVU by writing three proposals of the possible projects that he would like to pursue. These were submitted to various federal agencies, and two were funded. In 1967, Art requested to take a Sabbatical Leave of one year to work in Grenoble, France at the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research). Here he learned some new techniques and the preparation of rare earth metals and alloys. Also he was able to visit other laboratories in Europe. Upon return from France, he was offered the position of Chairman of the department of Physics. Art served as chairman of the WVU Physics Department during two different time periods:1968 to 1975 and 1985 to 1990. The work went so well at WVU that Art remained at the University until he retired in 1990. He took two additional sabbaticals, one in 1975 and another in 1985. He continued to do research in the Department until 2000 and kept an emeritus faculty office in Hodges Hall for many years. Art and Barb used their summers for family camping, canoeing and hiking trips, and Art encouraged the development of outdoor skills and appreciation of nature in all his children. Art enlisted Karl, Stephen and Noel in helping to build stone walls and brick walkways around their house. He helped Paula in the construction of octagonal tables. In 1969, twenty-five years after having received rudimentary instruction in the Navy, Art enrolled himself, Barb, Noel and Paula in the Annapolis Sailing School. Graduation resulted in the chartering and sailing of many boats in the Chesapeake Bay over the years with many adventures and with great enjoyment. In retirement, Art enjoyed woodworking and carving of Santa pencils, mice, walking sticks and other objects. Art was greatly involved in the local Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the XX Club and often gave presentations about topics that interested him. He was passionate about being involved in the lives of his grandchildren. Barb and Art continued their world travels into their retirement. Art loved to regale listeners with his stories, old and new. He was always eager to meet and converse with people who were intrigued, as he was, with ideas and the interesting trajectories of people's lives. He met the ordinary trials of life with humor and optimism, and despite being a deep thinker he also had a hilarious goofiness that was contagious. He had an incredible memory for the details of the lives of family members and friends and was a shrewd judge of integrity and character. His advice was valued by many students, friends, and family. His heart and spirit will be missed by many. Arthur is survived by his wife Barbara, his brother Richard and wife Dona, sons Karl Richard and wife Kris, Stephen Keith, Noel Bruce and wife Sarah, daughter Paula Ann and husband Phil. He loved his grandchildren and great grandchildren: Morgen, her husband James and son Kolya; Claire, her husband William and daughters Grace and Nora; Nathan, his wife Emma and daughter Darcy; Emily and her husband Sean; Dwight and his wife Liz; Anastasia, her husband Aaron and daughter Adelheid; Noelle and her husband Paul and celebrated all their successes. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to The Brooks Bird Club, The West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, or Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Hastings Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements. A Celebration of Life will be Saturday, March 23rd from 11:30AM - 12:30PM at the Erickson Alumni Center, 1 Alumni Drive, Morgantown, WV 26506. Following the memorial an open house will continue until 5PM. Online condolences can be sent to the family at
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Arthur Pavlovic

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Arthur Pavlovic

1925 - 2024

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