Milo Nordyke, 92 | News, Sports, Jobs


It is with great sadness, we announce the passing of Milo Nordyke, a true gentleman, a dedicated physicist and a wonderful father, who passed away peacefully at the age of 92 after a brief illness.

Always an ambitious man, Milo was never satisfied with the status quo, consistently challenging himself and those around him to improve the world.

He was born on Dec. 2, 1929, in Maynard, Iowa, the youngest of four children to Clyde and Lucy Nordyke. He grew up in Marshalltown, Iowa, and enjoyed going back to his hometown of him and sharing stories of his past there.

An excellent student, Milo served as the valedictorian at his junior college. He then earned a degree in physics from the University of Iowa and later a master’s from UC Berkeley. It was during junior college that Milo met the love of his life, Carma Barbara Graff. They were married in 1951 and soon moved to Corona, CA, where he worked at the Naval Ordnance Lab. Restless and looking for more interesting employment, Milo learned of a new position at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab. At the Lab, he found his calling and worked as a nuclear physicist for the rest of his career. I have spent an amazing 40 years traveling the globe and meeting with fellow scientists and politicians to discuss nuclear energy and to create test ban treaties for nuclear weapons.

Milo was also quite active in city government. He served on the Livermore City Council from 1960-1968, and from 1965-67, he was the appointed mayor. While in office, I have played an active role in the development of Las Positas Golf Course and in the relocation and construction of Livermore Municipal Airport. Milo valued this time in his life because of the many wonderful friends he made. He was also an active and dedicated member of the First Presbyterian Church, which he and Carma joined in the 1950s. He has served on several church committees, such as the finance and beautification and he even sang in the choir!

A do-it-yourself hobbyist, Milo utilized his extensive physics background and personal creativity in various projects at his family’s Livermore home. There was virtually nothing he could not fix.

Once he retired, Milo summarized his travels, only this time as the unofficial tour guide for his wife and family. The Nordyke contingent visited several amazing foreign locations, with France and Italy being two family favorites. Milo taught his five children the nuances of European travel, and he was always an excellent navigator. These trips are some of our fondest memories and we cherish them dearly.

Milo was preceded in death by his wife Carma (2003) and grandson Matthew Gagnon (2017).

He is survived by his children: Dwight Richard Nordyke (Ernestine), Kathryn Lechner (Robert), Barbara Gagnon (Rob), Lisa Jost (Randy), Anne Nordyke (Renaud Rocroi), and his 7 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

Services for Milo will be held at the First Presbyterian Church at 11 am on Wednesday, August 31, with a reception to follow. We hope you will join us in celebrating our father and his life. In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice.

Callaghan Mortuary is honored to be serving the Nordyke family. An online guestbook is available for condolences at www.callaghanmortuary.com.

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