- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Robert D. Misner, 84, electronics scientist

Robert David Misner, an electronics scientist who served as an officer in the Navy during World War II, followed by a 50-year-career with the Naval Research Laboratory, died Aug. 28 of complications from a stroke at Cameron Glen Nursing Home in Reston. He was 84.

Born in Waynesville, Ill., he graduated in 1938 from Waynesville Township High School as valedictorian. He attended Illinois Wesleyan University for three years and then came to the District to support World War II efforts. After serving in the Navy from 1944 to 1945, he received a degree in physics from George Washington University.

Mr. Misner specialized in electronic warfare, intelligence and magnetic-recording research.

He was noted for work in radio countermeasures and intelligence/cryptologic areas. He was able to determine the orbit of the Russian Sputnik and analyze its transmissions from a field direction-finding site, now Huntley Meadows Fairfax County Park. His findings were transmitted daily to the president.

In June 1998, he was awarded the Naval Space Technology award for his contributions to the development and successful operation of the country’s first reconnaissance satellite.

A resident of the D.C. area since 1942, Mr. Misner was a member of Anacostia Methodist Church, Friendly Methodist Church and, most recently, Mount Vernon United Methodist Church in Alexandria.

Survivors include two daughters, Robin Beth Boatman of Woodbridge, Va., and Christie Marie Motley of Alexandria; and five grandchildren. His wife of 50 years, the former Virginia Bernice Fuehrer, died in 1999.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Stroke Association, P.O. Box 5216, Glen Allen, VA 23058; or Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, 2006 Belle View Blvd., Alexandria, VA 22307.

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