Professor Adolph Altschaeffl, 88, of West Lafayette, Indiana, known to friends and colleagues are “Al,” passed away on April 12, 2019.
Mr. Altschaeffl was born on July 20, 1930 in Passaic, New Jersey to German immigrants, Ludwig and Crescenz Altschaeffl. After growing up in Brooklyn and Sag Harbor, where his sister, Alma Altschaeffl and his cousin, Annamaire Schultz’s family still live, Mr. Altschaeffl left to attend Purdue University in 1948.
Mr. Altschaeffl earned a BS, MS and PhD at Purdue’s School of Civil Engineering and then joined the faculty at Purdue. He taught, researched and published papers until his retirement in 2000. Many structures on Purdue’s campus, including Mackey Arena and the famous Bell Tower sit on foundations designed by Mr. Altschaeffl.
As a young man, Mr. Altschaeffl was a member of the Army Reserves and served as an intelligence officer with top secret clearance. He was honorably discharged in May of 1961. During his years as a professor, Mr. Altschaeffl belonged to numerous professional and academic societies and was a Chapter Trustee and an Honor Member of Chi Epsilon.
In addition to his devotion to Purdue, Mr. Altschaeffl loved his faith and his parish, Church of the Blessed Sacrament in West Lafayette. Well over 50 years ago, he helped found the church and remained a member until his death. He volunteered there in numerous capacities, gave generously and attended mass regularly, say members of his family. Likewise, Mr. Altschaeffl served his community as a member of the WLBL Board of Trustees, WL Community School committees and WL Happy Hollow erosion study group.
Mr. Altschaeffl was a constant learner his entire life, say family, always reading magazines, newspapers and books. He kept up with local, national and international news daily. His mind was sharp, says family, and sought solutions to complex problems, a lover of geography and crossword puzzles.
In 1966, Mr. Altschaeffl married Martha Filiatreau, who survives him. They lived together in the same home for 53 years.
A celebration of Mr. Altschaeffl’s life was held on Friday, May 3 at the Church of the Blessed Sacraments in West Lafayette. Inurnment followed at Tippecanoe Memory Gardens in West Lafayette.
Memorial contributions can be made to the St. Meinrad Achabbey, 200 Hill Drive St. Meinrad, IN 47577; the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, 2224 Sacramento Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47906; Almost Home Humane Society, 1705 S. Second St./PO Box 134, Lafayette, IN 47902; the West Lafayette Community School Corporation, 1130 Salisbury, West Lafayette, IN 47906; or to the West Lafayette Public Library, 208 West Columbia, West Lafayette, IN 47906.