Leslie C. Wilbur

Posted Jan. 03, 2013, at 7:55 p.m.

BREWER – Leslie C. Wilbur, 88, died Jan. 2, 2013, at a Bangor health care facility. He was born May 12, 1924, in Johnston, R.I., son of Clifford and Isabel Winsor Wilbur.

He was professor emeritus, mechanical engineering, at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Mass. At age 20 Leslie enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to A Battery, the 501 AFA Battalion, 14th Armored Division. He was a combat veteran of World War II, landing in Marseilles, France, in October 1944, and fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. He was in firing position for 152 days out of the 165 days that he served before the war ended. Leslie graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Rhode Island State College in 1948. He was elected to the honor societies of Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi and Pi Tau Sigma. He received a master’s degree from Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, N.J., in 1949 and took a position at Duke University, where he taught mechanical engineering for seven years. In 1957 Leslie joined the faculty at Worcester Polytechnic Institute as an associate professor. He was appointed director of the Nuclear Reactor Facility in 1959 and promoted to professor of mechanical engineering in 1961. The reactor was built under his direct supervision and the facility was later renamed the Wilbur Reactor in his honor. He was editor in chief of the “Handbook of Energy Systems Engineering” published by John Wiley and Sons in 1985. He retired in 1987.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Trudy; four sons, Clifford, Kenneth, Ted and Christopher; four granddaughters and a grandson.

Funeral services will be held 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4, at Brewer Chapel of Brookings-Smith, 55 South Main St., Brewer. The family invites relatives and friends to share conversation and refreshments after the service at the Family Reception Rooms of Brookings-Smith. Interment at a later date will be at Winsor Family Cemetery, Johnston, R.I.

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