Ralph Elwood Keirstead, Jr. ’48

Ralph Elwood Keirstead, Jr. ’48 died on November 3, 2005, in Yonkers, New York.

Born on April 4, 1928, in Waterville, he prepared for college at Rogers High School in Newport, RI, and the Hackley School in Tarrytown, NY, and became a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity at Bowdoin. Following his graduation in 1948 cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, he received a master of arts degree in mathematics from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland in 1950 and then served in the U.S. Army for two years. He became a programmer with the United Aircraft Corporation in East Hartford, CT, in 1953, was a programmer with the Livermore Radiation Laboratory in California from 1954 to 1956, and then joined the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA. In 1964, he accepted a position with Control Data Corporation in Minneapolis, MN, a position that took him to Germany and Switzerland over the next three years. In 1967, he resumed his position as information systems analyst with the Stanford Research Institute. He remained with the Stanford Research Institute until his retirement in 1988 as a staff scientist. In his retirement, he was a volunteer with Recording for the Blind and the Dyslexic in Palo Alto, CA, serving on its board from 1997 to 2000 and being honored in 2001 with a 1,000-hour milestone award. He was also a volunteer with the senior center in Los Altos and at Los Altos High School, where he was a tutor of mathematics for some years. He was married in 1957 to Mary M. Humphrey, who died in 2001, and is survived by two sons, Thomas E. Keirstead of Bloomington, IN, and William P. Keirstead of New York City; and three grandsons.