Virgil Eldon Bottom – educator, researcher, mentor 1911 – 2003
Dr. Virgil Eldon Bottom, born January 6, 1911 in Butler County, Kansas, died Thursday, October 30, 2003 at Sears Nursing Home in Abilene.
Most of his life was devoted to teaching. He taught Mathematics and Physics at Friends University, Wichita, Kansas, at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado and at McMurry College, Abilene, Texas where he was Chairman of the Department of Physics. In 1931 he received his AB degree in Mathematics at Friends University and his MS degree from University of Michigan in 1938. He received his Ph.D. in physics from Purdue University in 1949. In 1983, he was granted Doctor of Science by McMurry College. In addition to his science teaching, Dr. Bottom was a Bible teacher who loved to interpret the Holy Scriptures for Sunday school classes. In 1964-65 he was a Fulbright lecturer in Brazil.
After retiring from McMurry College in 1973, he continued his activity in the field on Piezoelectricity by presenting tutorial seminars, consulting and writing a text book, “Introduction to Quartz Crystal Unit Design.” Dr. Bottom was a recognized authority in the field of Piezoelectricity and lectured widely in the United States and abroad on the subject. For his contributions to the field, he was given the Cady Award, the Sawyer Award, and the Certificate of Service by the Signal Corps engineering Laboratory. Twenty of his students are, or have been, active in the same field. In 1987 he received the Staff Award from the West Texas Rehabilitation Center for his 25 years of service there. Survivors include three sons, Eldon Bottom and wife Arliss of Bedford, Texas, Dr. Paul Bottom and wife Cathy of Grant, Nebraska and Kenneth Bottom and wife Dorothy of Bryan, Texas; ten grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Thelma, who died January 29, 1995.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Sears Methodist Center, 3202 South Willis, Abilene, Texas 79605 or to the West Texas Rehabilitation Center, 4601 Hartford, Abilene, Texas 79605.