It is with deep sadness that we inform the Williamson community of the passing on March 25 of Dr. Raymond P. Jefferis III, a retired, long-serving member of our Board of Trustees and a professor of electrical engineering at Widener University. He was 79.
President Michael Rounds said, “It is with deep sadness that I announce the passing of our former trustee Dr. Raymond Jefferis. Dr. Jefferis served on our board with great dedication for over 25 years, working hard to further our mission and sharing his expertise in education. He also did much to help preserve the architectural heritage of our campus. Though he left the board before my tenure began, over the years I have heard many good things about him. He truly made a mark on Williamson and left a legacy that will be remembered for a long time to come. His colleagues thought so highly of him that they elected him to emeritus status. He will be truly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Sibylle and the rest of his family.”
Board Chairman William Bonenberger 7W9 said, “Dr. Jefferis, a Williamson trustee emeritus, served as a dedicated and committed Williamson trustee for over 25 years. Much of that time he was the chair of the Education Committee and he played a significant role in raising the bar on Williamson’s curriculum. Dr. Jeffries loved Williamson’s mission and he did his best to help us educate our young men. He will be greatly missed by the entire Williamson family! Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Sibylle and his entire family.”
Dr. Jefferis, of Wayne, PA, was born on the Fourth of July in 1938 in Syracuse, NY, and grew up in Media. He earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a professor of electrical engineering at Widener University from 1965 until his retirement in 2017, earning the title of Widener’s longest-tenured professor.
He was a lifelong learner, inventor, and teacher and said “everything is a teaching opportunity.” He made engineering improvements to the satellite mapping of radio towers and changes to make metal detectors stronger. Some of his work was used to support archeological excavations in the Brandywine Valley.
He held two patents and for 25 years ran a business he founded, Hieronetics, Inc., designing and manufacturing testing and calibration equipment for pharmaceutical and coal refining processes.
Deeply affected by the attacks on 9/11, he decided to help his community as a volunteer for the Chester County Department of Emergency Services with backup communications during lapses in service, phone outages, or other problems. He helped during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and during an ice storm in 2014, among other emergencies.
A Quaker, he served as a trustee of Providence Friends Meeting in Media and Media Providence Friends School.
To send Sibylle a card:
276 Hillcrest Road
Wayne, PA 19087