Dr. Thomas Gordon Bertenshaw, 83, passed away Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Stillwater, Oklahoma. A viewing and a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 11, at the Strode Funeral Home Chapel in Stillwater. A commitment ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, July 12, at Fort Sill National Cemetery in Elgin.
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Tom was born Oct. 18, 1935, in Chicago. A proud veteran, he served in the United States Air Force for 22 years, rising to the rank of major and earning awards for meritorious service before retiring in 1975. He attended Oklahoma State University, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering, as well as a Ph.D. in education.
A licensed professional engineer in Oklahoma, Tom spent 24 years at OSU as the head of the Electrical Engineering Technology Department, with special expertise in small signal circuit design, system modeling and analysis, communications and modulation, control systems and transform analysis. During his tenure, he also served as director of the Electronics Research and Development Lab.
Tom was involved as a principal investigator and lead engineer on several projects that involved creating significant telemetry, data acquisition and communications capabilities for scientific rocketry. While holding academic positions, he also provided engineering consulting services for Amtrak, Oklahoma Gas & Electric and Mercury Marine. He also served as a product development engineer for Unabridge Corp. developing a recording remote weigh scale system for loaded industrial transport vehicles.
Outside of work, Tom enjoyed going to the woods to hunt, reading, eating licorice jelly beans and spending time with his family.
His passions included history, especially the Civil War, and physics. He could never absorb enough knowledge and was always trying to figure out the mysteries of the world and how the universe works.
He loved to travel and that desire took him all over the world, including Africa, Germany and Hawaii.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Louis G. Bertenshaw and Elizabeth Smith; siblings, Cheron Day and Louis Bertenshaw; daughter Suzanne Bertenshaw and son Kip Bertenshaw.
He is survived by his wife of more than 23 years, Alberta Bertenshaw; son Thomas G. Bertenshaw II; daughter Jillian Theriault; stepdaughters Jennipher Cline and husband Chadd, Amber Burnett and husband Brad, Sara Osborn and husband Nathan; 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.