Leo Vaughn Nothstine

Nov. 4, 2013

Professor Leo Vaughn Nothstine (BS Civil Egr ’38) of Mancelona, Mich., died Oct. 29, 2013, in Kalkaska, Mich. He was 97.

He was born Aug. 19, 1916, in Mancelona to the late Ray M. and Wilma (Johnson) Nothstine. He graduated from Mancelona High School in 1934 and studied civil engineering at Michigan State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1938.  He studied for his master’s degree in steel and concrete construction at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, where he met his wife.  He married Laura Florence Bartholow of Coffeyville, Kansas, on June 7, 1941.

Nothstine taught briefly at Texas Tech and worked for Martin Aircraft in Baltimore before designing B-24 modifications during World War II at the Ford Consolidated Aircraft at Willow Run, near Ypsilanti, Mich.  Following the war he worked for Gould Engineering in Grand Blanc, Mich., and then signed on as a professor of civil engineering and land surveying at Michigan State University.

During a 35-year career at Michigan State, he was active in a variety of academic and outreach activities.  In the 1950s, he was the lead professor at Camp Dunbar, the MSU Surveying Camp located at the MSU Forestry Experiment Station southeast of Sault Ste. Marie. He was serving as the acting head of the civil engineering department when he retired in 1981.

Upon retirement, the couple moved to their summer home at Big Twin Lake, near Mancelona. They spent winters in Bonita Springs and Naples, Fla., and travelled to visit their children and grand children near home and in the far corners of the world. 

His wife, Florence, died July 21, 1991, at Big Twin Lake.  In 1992, he married Rebecca (Maveaty) Thompkins, a high school friend from Mancelona and was married to her for 18 years.  She died on Oct. 31, 2010, in Naples.          

He is survived by his sister, Thelma “Molly” (Nothstine) Kresnak of Bellaire, Mich.; his brother, Jack R. Nothstine and sister-in-law Zelda (Kuhn) Nothstine of Naples; his four children, Thomas Nothstine and daughter-in-law Marja (Bohling) of Mt. Pleasant, Mich.; William Nothstine of Mancelona, Mich.; Charles Nothstine and daughter-in-law Cynthya (Gentry) Nothstine of Williamsburg, Va.; and James Nothstine and daughter-in-law Mary (Lusk) Nothstine of Mancelona; many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

A memorial service for Leo and Florence Nothstine was conducted at Pathways Community Church in Mancelona on Nov. 3, 2013.