Professor Adolph Altschaeffl, 88 of West Lafayette, known to friends and colleagues as Al, passed away on April 12 ,2019. He was born July 20,1930 at Passaic, NJ to German Immigrants Ludwig and Crescenz Altschaeffl. After growing up in Brooklyn and Sag Harbor, NY, where his sister Alma Altschaeffl and his cousin Annamarie Schulz’s family still live, Al left to attend Purdue University in 1948.
He earned his BS, MS, and PhD in Purdue’s School of Civil Engineering and then joined the faculty at Purdue. Al 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 Al.
As a young man, Al was a member of the Army Reserves and served as an intelligence officer with a top secret clearance. He was honorably discharged in May 1961. During his years as a professor, Al 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, Al loved his faith and his parish, Church of the Blessed Sacrament in West Lafayette. Well over fifty 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. Likewise, Al served his community as a member of the WLPL Board of Trustees, WL Community School committees, and WL Happy Hollow erosion study group.
Al was a constant learner his entire life, always reading magazines, newspapers and books. He kept up with the local, national, and international news daily. His mind was sharp and he sought solutions to complex problems. A lover of crossword puzzles, he also had an amazing grasp of geography. Al was a true Renaissance man and should be remembered for his integrity and dedication.
In 1966 Al married Martha Filiatreau who survives. They lived together in the same home for 53 years.
A celebration of Al’s life will be held at 11 am on Friday, May 3 at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in West Lafayette; friends may call from 10:30am until the time of services at the Church. Inurnment will follow at Tippecanoe Memory Gardens in West Lafayette.
Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Meinrad Archabbey, 200 Hill Drive, St. Meinrad, IN 47577; Church of the Blessed Sacrament; Almost Home Humane Society; West Lafayette Community School Corporation; or the West Lafayette Public Library.