Harry Moore “Jim” Pastra-Landis, age 87, of Norton passed away in the comfort of his home on Sunday, April 28, 2013. He was the beloved husband of Styliani C. “Elita” Pastra-Landis to whom he was wed on September 20, 1971.
Born in Sewickley, PA on December 9, 1925 he was a son of the late Harry M., Jr. and Mabel (Snyder) Landis. By 1930 the family moved to Royal Oak, MI, near Detroit. Jim graduated from Royal Oak High School and immediately enlisted in the United States Army.
At Christmas of 1944 he was transferred to the European Theatre. There he was stationed near the German U-boat pens, at St. Nazaire in France until VJ day. He was next sent to the Army Shrivenham University in England in the fall of 1945.
When the University closed he was transferred to the Army of Occupation in Vienna, Austria. He returned to the to the United states and was discharged in the late spring of 1946. Upon returning home, Jim married his former wife, the late Helen (Smith) Landis and they entered the College of Wooster in Ohio together.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics in 1948, and then earned a Master’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 1950.
Jim’s first teaching position was at East Central State College, Ada, Oklahoma from 1950 to 1953. He then came to Wheaton College and became the head of the Department of Physics for some forty years, until he retired in 1992.
He developed a course in Solid State Electronics for majors in physics inspired by his years as a consultant with industry in solid state materials. He also developed a course on the scientific basis of music (The Sound of Music) for non-major students.
From 1965 to 1968 he participated actively in the design of a government-funded college-level course in physical science. He initiated a type of First Year Seminar in 1972, for which students studied both Physics and Philosophy. He also crossed curricular barriers, teaching the History of Science, in the early 1980s.
In addition to his beloved wife, he is survived by his devoted children, Carolyn Kelly and Harry Landis both of Norton, Hugh Landis and his wife Terry of Jaffrey, NH, Howard Landis and his wife Lois of Essex Junction, VT, Gordon Landis of Stowe, Tanya Laidlaw and her husband Nicholas of Needham and the late Diane Landis. He was the dear brother of Marjorie Farnham and her husband Edward of Michigan, and is also survived by his cherished 8 grandchildren and 2 great granddaughters.
A Memorial Service, to which relatives and friends are cordially invited to attend, will be held at Wheaton College later in May on a date and time to be announced.
Visiting hours have been omitted and a place to send donations in Jim’s memory will also be announced.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of the Norton Memorial Funeral Home, 19 Clapp St., Norton.
To send Jim’s family a message of condolence, please visit www.nortonmemorial.com