Friday, Apr 20, 2018
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Engineering prof led UT department

MONROE - Milton A. Netter, Jr., 86, a former chairman of the industrial engineering department at the University of Toledo, where he taught for decades, died of pneumonia Wednesday in Mercy Memorial Hospital, Monroe.

Formerly of Ottawa Hills, he and his wife, Allien, lived near Bolles Harbor, Mich.

Mr. Netter retired from UT about 1986. During his tenure, he helped develop industrial engineering as its own department and made sure it was accredited, his sons said.

"He cared about the students doing well and making sure the department ran well," said his son Jeff, a professor of finance at the University of Georgia.

"There are probably a whole host of people in Toledo who had him as a professor, and by the end, their kids had him as a professor," his son said.

He knew he wanted to be a professor from a young age, said his son Greg, who has an engineering degree.

"He was sharp. That was part of it," son Greg said. "He got it and could explain it and teach it."

He was analytical, said son Garry, also an engineer, who works at Owens-Illinois, and "always seemed to be reading and learning."

Mr. Netter grew up in West Toledo, where his family had a small machine shop, A. Netter & Sons - named after his grandfather, Antone.

Milton, Sr., bought a Ford, and "the first thing they did when they got it was pull it apart, everything, to see how it was made," son Greg said.

He was a graduate of 1941 graduate of DeVilbiss High School. He received bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan - his father was a 1917 UM engineering graduate - and got a UM industrial engineering doctorate in 1968.

He also had a law degree from UT, taught courses in engineering law at the school, and was a member of the Ohio Bar Association. He was a Navy veteran and served stateside during World War II.

He worked on projects for the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments and helped with beach protection efforts in the 1970s, when the Lake Erie shore flooded regularly. "It was a challenge beyond academics, the physical application of what he knew," son Greg said.

He and his wife owned horses for years. Riding offered "the freedom from things mechanical," son Greg said.

"He was very social," son Greg said. "He loved a good dark beer and a scotch, but he was always doing something that was either bettering himself or someone around him."

He was a member of First Congregational Church, Toledo.

Surviving are his wife, Allien, whom he married July 21, 1951; sons, Jeffry, Greggry, and Garry; sister, Constance Netter, and seven grandchildren.

There will be no visitation or services. The family will hold a celebration of Mr. Netter's life from 1-4 p.m. Sunday at Monroe Golf & Country Club. Arrangements are by the Bacarella Funeral Home, Monroe. The family suggests tributes to CURE, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, in Chicago.

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