Memorial service to honor late professor

By Wendy Arquilla

A memorial service is planned today for one of the most dedicated physics professors at NIU.

Wallace Miner, a long-standing member of the NIU physics department, died on Sunday, April 11 at the age of 84 from complications of a cerebral hemorrhage.

“A Celebration of Life” is scheduled for 4 p.m. in DeKalb’s First United Methodist Church, on the corner of Fourth and Oak Streets. Visitation is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. in the Ronan-Moore Mortuary, 310 Oak Street, across the street from the church.

Miner joined NIU’s faculty in 1948 when it was still called the Northern Illinois State Teachers’ College. He officially retired from the university in 1976. However, Miner continued to teach a university-run Saturday course for high school physics teachers. The purpose of the class was to help sharpen the teaching ability of high school physics teachers.

Miner often noted how much enjoyment he found in teaching the Saturday morning workshop. He previously said he took pleasure in the passion gained for physics by the teachers that took his course. He believed a teacher didn’t belong in the classroom if he didn’t find his discipline exciting.

“He was from the old school, when NIU was still a teachers’ college. His primary interest was in physics education because of his background. But as the old school formed into NIU, (Miner) changed and grew with the university,” said John Shaffer, chairman of the physics department.

“He should be remembered for his dedication to the profession of physics. It was his life and something he was proud of,” Shaffer said.

A memorial fund has been formed in Miner’s memory. Donations can be made to the Wallace Miner Physics Education Memorial fund in care of the NIU Foundation, NIU, DeKalb, IL 60115.

“What is collected for the memorial fund will go to a scholarship for an NIU student planning for a career teaching high school physics,” Shaffer said.

Miner is survived by his widow, Clara Miner, and their children Frederick, David, Donald and Barbara. All three of his sons and one grandson have received physics degrees from NIU.