Tama native Lyle Feisel has lived one of those "storied" lifetimes. He started out on the family farm south of Tama. There he first attended country school - Columbia No. 2 - which he says, has been, of course, "long gone for decades.
His family moved into Tama when he was age 16 and he graduated from Tama High School in 1953. From there it was on to a long and varied career.
Drawing from his early years in Tama through a lifetime of work and experiences, Feisel wrote and published a new book, Lyle's Laws.
Over his lifetime, Feisel's work experience is listed this way an engineer who has also worked as a farmhand, metalsmith, construction worker, truck driver, sailor, theater manager, association executive, professor and university dean.
A news release describes Feisel's book this way: "The book is a collection of short essays, each dealing with some aspect of life and work. The author brings a very personal dimension to his commentary by sharing anecdotes about growing up on a farm near Tama, attending high school here, parenting three children, and traveling the world. The essays are entertaining and insightful, offering ideas on-and acknowledging the challenges of-conducting oneself appropriately, making good decisions, and navigating tough times."
It adds, "Educators and parents will find Lyle's Laws to be a useful starting point for discussions on honesty, ethics, and career preparation The casual reader from any walk of life will find it thought-provoking and entertaining and will be likely to pass it on to a friend."
In an email to The News-Herald, Feisel wrote, in part, "Needless to say, I have fond memories of Tama and still have a few friends there. I return every July for the Feisel reunion and whenever I can for my class reunion."
His mother and father were Clyde and Clara Feisel.
He recalls, "My dad and my brother, Mason, ran a small construction business for a number of years. I think I was Bob Thomas's second employee when I worked for him in 1952-53."
Of his family of four brothers and two sisters, sister Ruth Scott, Cedar Rapids survives. Two sisters-in-law, June and Rose still live in this area, he said.
He and his wife, Dorothy, have three children and two grandchildren. Both of their daughters are engineers and his son is a graphic artist. The grandchildren are, he writes, "both engineering students '(What else?)' at Purdue.
Lyle Feisel's Background
After high school and one year at Iowa State University in Ames, Feisel joined the U.S. Navy. After military service he returned to ISU and eared B.S. M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering.
Lyle D. Feisel, P.E. (Ret) is Dean Emeritus of the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science and Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Following service in the U.S. Navy, he received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University. From 1964 to 1983, he was a member of the faculty of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, serving as Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering from 1975 to 1983. In 1969-70, he was a National Visiting Professor at Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan.
He served as the founding dean of engineering at SUNY Binghamton from 1983 to 2001. In 2010-2011, he held the position of Interim Executive Director of the American Society for Engineering Education in Washington, DC. He has consulted for private and public organizations, and has been very active in accreditation and continuing education activities.
Dr. Feisel is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and a Fellow of ASEE and NSPE. He was recently elected First Vice President and Vice President for Development of the IEEE Foundation and is Chair of the IEEE History Committee.
Dr. Feisel is the author of Lyle's Laws, for ten year a regular column in The Bent of Tau Beta Pi and now collected as Lyle's Laws published by Brooklyn River Press