2023 Memorials


Joseph Leo Gaddis, PhD (1940—2023) Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering on March 14, 2023. After receiving BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from New Mexico State University, he earned a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 1969. Leo worked for LTV Aerospace Corporation in Dallas during the Apollo program where he engaged in advanced spacecraft thermal analysis and spray-flash evaporator technology. He joined the Mechanical Engineering faculty of Clemson University in 1972 where he taught and performed research for 34 years. Leo had many diverse interests including classical music, fly-fishing, physics, baseball, woodworking, handball, travel, and time spent with family and friends. A talented musician, Leo enjoyed singing and playing French horn in local choral and orchestral groups. He was a founding member of Clemson Presbyterian Church, where he used his talents to serve. Memorial services will be at 1pm on Saturday, April 1, 2023, at Clemson Presbyterian Church. The family will greet friends at the church immediately following the service. Surviving are his wife, Jeanie, of 63 years; son, Benjamin Gaddis (Evelyn) of Clemson, SC; daughter, Ettamarie West (Doug) of Arden, NC; brother, William R. Gaddis, Jr. (Linda) of Round Rock, TX; and sister, Wanda Lee Richardson of El Paso, TX. He is also survived by 8 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. For Dr. Gaddis’ obituary, please see the following: https://obits.robinsonfuneralhomes.com/joseph-gaddis. 

Nelson, Robert Bauld, Jr., PhD (1931–2023) Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering on February 22, 2023. After graduating from Victory High School in 1949, he served in the U.S. Army in the Big Red One Division, stationed in Germany. In addition to his duties as a serviceman, he was selected to pitch for the Army’s baseball team that traveled to various U.S. military bases throughout Europe. Following his service, he attended West Virginia University on the GI Bill where he received his bachelor and master degrees in mechanical engineering. He was awarded his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana in 1963 and joined the faculty of Clemson University later that same year. He retired from teaching in 1989. In retirement, he wrote an instructional book Mechanics of Materials for undergraduate engineering students that was adopted by numerous institutions. Among his many sources of pride and joy were the successes and friendships of his many graduate students along with special research projects with NASA and Langley Air Force Base.  For Dr. Bauld’s obituary, please see the following: https://obits.robinsonfuneralhomes.com/nelson-bauld-jr

Judith  Melton, PhD (1941 – 2023) Professor Emerita of German and Women’s Studies, died on February 8, 2023, just short of her 82nd birthday, from congestive heart failure due to complications of heart disease.  Judy joined the faculty at Clemson in 1972 after teaching German for several years at the University of Tulsa.  A pioneer in curriculum development, Judy co-founded the Language & International Trade program.  She also co-founded and taught in the Women’s Studies Program and was responsible for creating the Women’s Studies minor which has since evolved into the Woman’s Leadership major.  In 1988 she worked with History professor Don McKale to author Rewriting History: The Original and Revised World War II Diaries of Curt Prufer, Nazi Diplomat. Ten years later she was the single author of The Face of Exile: Autobiographical Journeys (1998), a monograph about German writers who fled Nazi Germany. This research led to the creation of a course Literature and the Arts of the Holocaust which she team-taught with Humanities professor Alma Bennett.  As a result of her caring engagement with students and faculty, she received the Class of ’39 Award for Excellence in 1999.  Judy served several administrative roles during her 35-year career at Clemson.  She was associate department head and then department head of the Language Department as well as coordinator of Women’s Studies.  From 2000 to 2007, Judy served as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of Architecture, Arts & Humanities. In addition, Judy served on the board of the Modern Language Association.

Judy Melton retired in December 2007 and later moved to Tryon, NC. A member of the Ohara School of Ikebana where she achieved the highest certification as a teacher of Japanese flower arranging, she eventually became the head of the entire North American chapter of the Ohara School, traveling to Japan and for many years teaching classes, organizing, and participating in exhibitions, and editing the chapter newsletter.  Judy was not only a distinguished professor and woman but a wonderful friend and listener with a quick wit. She loved a cold diet coke (preferably with lemon) and engaging conversation. Judy is survived by her niece, Julie Melton Nations, along with many great and great-great nieces and nephews as well as a multitude of loving friends.

William Pierce “Bill” Yates, Sr. PhD (1943 – 2023), Extension Program Coordinator, Retired and member of the Emeritus College. Bill graduated from Clemson University in 1967 and started to work for Clemson Extension Service as an assistant County Agent. After a year in Chesterfield County, Uncle Sam called, and Bill went to Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He served about a year of active duty then served as a reserve officer for a total of 20 years. He retired as a Commander in The US Navy Reserve. After his active Navy service he returned to the Clemson Extension Service and graduate school. Bill really enjoyed his different jobs with Clemson Extension because it provided an opportunity to enjoy life and help improve the lives of his fellow man. Dr. Yates retired from Clemson after 30 years. For Dr. Yates ‘obituary, please see the following: https://obits.robinsonfuneralhomes.com/william-pierce-bill-yates.