(SSN 593)

In Memoriam
April 10, 1963

Donald William KuesterDonald William Kuester

Supervisory Electronics Engineer


Donald William Kuester was born on October 30, 1921, in Atlantic, Iowa. He spent his early boyhood in Iowa, and was graduated from Stuart High School with honors in 1939.

After hight school, Donald attended Iowa State College where he continued to excel schlastically. During his college years, he was active in the men's glee club and choir. He was president of Eta Kappa Nu Fraternity, a member of Tau Beta Pi Fraternity, a national honorary engineering fraternity; and Phi Kappa Phi, an honorary scholastic fraternity.

In 1943 he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and attained an average of 3.33 our of a possible 4. Donald, then pursued postgraduate studies at the University of Maryland, and later at the University of Michigan. He then accepted the position of junior electrical engineer at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory, White Oak, Md.

During his 20 years of Federal service with the Naval Ordnance Laboratory, he was advanced to supervisory electronic engineer. He was also a member of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers.

As chief of the Acoustics and Electronics Division, Donald was charged with the engineering responsibility for developing electrical and electronic components for undersea weapons and weapon systems, used by the Navy.

During his service with the Navy, Donald was the recipient of the Naval Ordnance Laboratory Certificate of Commendation in 1943, and the Secretary of the Navy's Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 1951, for creation of high-fidelity filters and transformers. He received two Superior Accomplishment Awards, one in 1956 and another in 1959, for an original invention of a classified nature.

Donald also held letters of patent on two inventions in the field of low-frequency sonar equipment. He was on board Thresher to perform tests and measurements in connection with a new classified acoustical material, called "Kustecite" which he had invented, and which had been installed in the submarine.

Donald was a member of the Chillum Heights Gospel Chapel in Adelphi, Md., where he was also the Sunday school superintendent, a trustee, and secretary of the church corporation. His avocation was raising and showing his roses, a hobby which had won him many ribbons including a "Best in Show." He was a skilled photographer and often gave illustrated lectures with both photographs and slides that he had taken on various trips.

Donald is survived by his wife, the former Marion Robertson of Philadelphia, Pa., and three children, Linda Jean, Donald James, II, and Bruce Robert. He is also survived by his widowed mother, Mrs. Frank G. Kuester of Stuart, Iowa.

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