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Obituary: Arlin M. Feyerherm

1 July 2019 No Comment


Arlin M. Feyerherm passed away January 7, 2019, at St. Francis Hospital in West Point, Nebraska.

Arlin was born May 21, 1925, in West Point to Fred and Ida Feyerherm. He spent his childhood on the family farm east of West Point as the youngest of seven children and attended St. Paul Lutheran School through 8th grade. He graduated from West Point High School in 1943. Upon graduation, he spent six months in the Navy V12 program at Doane College. He was selected for an accelerated NROTC program at the University of Minnesota and graduated in 1946 as an ensign in the Navy with a degree in naval science and tactics. After the war ended, he earned his master’s degree in mathematics at Iowa University. He taught mathematics for two years at Northwest Missouri State College while completing his PhD in mathematics with a minor in statistics from Iowa State University in 1952 and taught classes there for a year.

Arlin and Junavae Henry, a fellow West Point High School graduate, reconnected on New Year’s Eve of 1950 and were married on August 25, 1951, while Arlin was still a doctoral student. In the fall of 1953, they moved to Manhattan, Kansas, for Arlin to teach in the department of mathematics at Kansas State University (KSU). Carol, Joan, and Roger were born over the next seven years.

In 1959, Arlin was one of five faculty members who formed the department of statistics at KSU. This provided him the opportunity to consult with other disciplines, particularly with faculty in the college of agriculture and to publish in applied journals. Much of his later research was related to weather and wheat yields as he worked with NOAA and NASA satellite data.

Arlin and Junavae were active members of St. Luke Lutheran Church in Manhattan. He served for many years as the Sunday school superintendent and as an elder on the church council. His work, family, and church were his primary pursuits.

Arlin retired in 1993 after 40 years of teaching. The retirement years included travel and time to enjoy grandchildren or to play a round of golf. In 1999, his son, Roger, built Arlin and Junavae a home in his neighborhood in Lenexa, Kansas. Junavae preceded Arlin in death in July of 2008 after an extended illness. From that time on, Arlin helped in the Feyerherm Construction office and worked on his statistical model involving wheat yields of new breeds of wheat using data from 10 universities in the Great Plains. Each spring and fall until 2018, he would produce a report on the new breeds for the wheat breeders. In addition, he was faithful to working out daily, a practice he credited for his health and longevity.

In May 2016, Arlin moved back to West Point, Nebraska, to be near his daughter Joan, who is a physician assistant.

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