PAUL EDWARD FEHLAU, 83, a resident of Los Alamos, passed away on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 of Alzheimer’s disease. Paul was born in Cleveland, Ohio on March 9, 1935 to Carl Fehlau and Elda Schiefelbein Fehlau. He grew up in Cleveland Heights. During the Korean War, at age 18, Paul joined the Army as a clerk. He was sent to Germany where his father was born and visited relatives. Upon his return to the United States he graduated high school before studying engineering at Fenn State University and then Ohio State University where he studied physics and met his future wife, Alice O’Connor.
Paul spent the summers of 1964 to 1965 as a research assistant at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (now LANL) before graduating from Ohio State University with a Masters in Physics in 1966. Paul was hired in January 1966 as a permanent staff member and had a long career as a physicist.
Early on, Paul worked on the Vela Satellites, used to search for atmospheric nuclear tests. Next, he joined the Classified Safeguards program at Pajarito Site, designing numerous detection systems. He worked with Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST) as a “black hat” adversary developing simulated rogue nuclear devices that tested NEST and military personnel and their equipment, preparing them for real-life emergency situations. He retired in 1995. In 2004, Paul received the Award of Merit from ASTM for Lifetime work on nuclear standards.
Paul loved the outdoors, hiking, cross country skiing, backpacking, photography and wildflower identification. He had many outdoor adventures with his wife, Alice; their children, Paul Alan and Jenny, and with his good friend, Henry Atwater and others. In later years he enjoyed Llama trekking. He hiked the local trails and the trails in the town site. He spent many years working on his family tree, tracing his family back many generations in Germany and Poland. In his last years, he was lovingly cared for at Sierra Vista Retirement Community.
He is survived by his wife, Alice of Los Alamos; their children, Paul Alan Fehlau (Jonathan Castro Soto) of Albuquerque, and Jenny Ann Fehlau of Los Alamos; niece, Laurie Huntzinger of Tucson, Arizona; nephew, Marc Jewett; his good friend, Henry Atwater of Fort Collins, Colorado and many other friends and relatives.
Services will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to Day Out at the Betty Ehart Senior Center, where Paul spent many happy days, or Memory Care Alliance for Northern New Mexico. The family of Paul Fehlau has entrusted their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Española Valley. 505-747-7477 – www.devargasfuneral.com