Glen Wagoner was born on July 28, 1927 at home in Terreton, Idaho and spent his early life on a farm. His father, Thomas Wagoner, was a homesteader and developed irrigation canals that supplied water to farmers in the area. His mother Florence was the schoolteacher in a one-room schoolhouse. Glen became an officer in the U.S. Navy and served in World War II. He majored in Physics at Idaho State University and then went to the University of Chicago where he met Julie. It was the farthest East he’d ever been and the farthest West she’d been. After they married, they moved to California where he graduated from UC Berkeley with a PhD in Physics. He then worked as a Physicist in Cleveland, Ohio, at Union Carbide where they lived for 45 years and their daughter was born. Glen started Wagoner Enterprises and developed vacuum testing systems for measuring the thermal conductivity of carbon fibers. He loved sailing, fishing, canoeing, camping and hiking. He heard lectures by Feynman and pondered whether the universe would ever stop expanding as discussed by Gamow — and could help anyone puzzle through a problem. He died from viral pneumonia less than a year after Julie passed. They retired to north Boulder in 2003 to audit physics classes at the University of Colorado as alumni. He tutored students. They lived among the eagles, pine trees, mountain lions, bears, turkeys, meadowlarks and foxes. Julie and Glen Wagoner were together for 71 years. 

5 thoughts on “Glen Wagoner”

  1. I was so sorry to learn of Glen’s passing. We had many wonderful discussions at Union Carbide and with both Glen and Julie at the UCC gourmet group. He will be missed.

  2. Glen and Julie were two of the dearest people I ever knew. Seeing them every day for walks on Valley Lane was such a treat. I was so saddened by Julie’s sudden passing and now again, losing Glen.

    My thoughts are with you Anne.

  3. I very very sorry to hear of Glen’s passing. I worked with him at GrafTech (a successor to Union Carbide) about 20 years ago on the thermal conductivity testing system that we purchased from him. He was one of the smartest, nicest people that I have ever known. It was a joy to meet him at his home, work on the equipment, have lunch and just talk with him. A true gentleman.

    As a side note, the thermal conductivity test equipment he developed became the standard for testing high performance materials. It was key to the development of economical, high thermal performance graphite materials that have been used to cool all of our now indispensable portable electronics such as cell phones, laptops, tablets, flat screen TV’s etc. At the time I worked with him, I don’t think either of us new how important that apparatus would be to the world we live in today. Thank you so much Glen!

  4. It was a great pleasure to work with Glen at Union Carbide. Every conversation was an education! And gatherings where Glen and Julie were present were never to be missed!

  5. Sad to hear of the passing of Glen and Julie. Two of the nicest people I have ever met.
    Glen was a brilliant physicist; always willing to help neophytes like me.
    His ground-breaking work on the measurement of thermal conductivity are a critical aspect of the carbon and graphite industry.

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