Alan L. Wurstner, age 95, of Oakwood, passed away Thursday December 19, 2019.
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He was preceded in death by his sister, Shirley Wurstner Padley.
Alan was born in Dayton and graduated from Stivers High School in 1941. He attended University of Dayton for a semester before enlisting in the Navy Seabees, serving in the 119th Battalion stationed in New Guinea in support of the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II. Although he left the Navy after the war ended, his pride in having been a Seabee continued throughout his life. Once back in civilian life, he attended Ohio University where he received a B.S. in Education. Rather than pursuing a career in education, Alan went to work as a chemist /microscopist at Monsanto in Dayton. During his 32 years researching polymers, he contributed to the advancement of science, receiving numerous patents and authoring scientific publications. After retiring from Monsanto he worked at the University of Dayton Research Institute for several years.
While serving as chair of the Monsanto annual staff picnic committee, he was delighted to meet his future wife, Vija, who was a member of the committee and employed at Mound Labs. The picnic never ended, leading to their marriage on April 23, 1960. Alan was a strong supporter of Vija’s Latvian heritage, encouraging his two daughters, Signe and Inge, to learn the Latvian language and culture. He was also instrumental in designing and building the cultural displays for the Latvian booth at the Dayton International Festival for 25 years.
Alan played tennis as a child at Walnut Hills Park and this sport continued to be an important part of his life and a source of lifelong friends. He played on the Ohio University tennis team and upon his return to Dayton he became an avid member of the Virginia Hollinger Tennis Club which included serving as President. He spent many hours teaching tennis to Dayton’s youth through the Dayton Junior Tennis Foundation, officiated amateur and professional matches for local tournaments and coached Oakwood’s girls’ and boys’ tennis teams. He was the tournament director for both the Montgomery County and YMCA Tennis Tournaments for over 25 years, leading to his induction into the Dayton Tennis Hall of Fame in 1980. Alan’s other interests included being a volunteer ski patrolman, an avid woodworker (including construction of a mobile library bookcase system for the Weaver’s Guild of Miami Valley), and a member of the Dayton Carver’s Guild.
Alan is survived by his wife of 59 years, Vija Wurstner; daughters Signe (Mark) White and Inge Wurstner; nephew John (Mary Lyn) Padley Jr.; grandniece Kirsten Padley; and three step-grandchildren, Taryn, Trevor and Jenna White.
Alan’s contributions to the community, love for his family, and contagious sense of humor will be missed by all who knew him.
Alan loved his cats, so in lieu of flowers we request donations be made to the Humane Society of Greater Dayton.
Services will be held at Schlientz and Moore Funeral Home on Monday December 23, 2019 with visitation beginning at 12 noon and the service at 1pm.
Following the service there will be escort to Dayton National Cemetery for a brief military ceremony.
Reception to follow at Alan’s beloved restaurant, Marion’s Piazza, 711 Shroyer Road, Oakwood.