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Obituary of Shelton Alexander, 83


Shelton Setzer Alexander, 83, of State College, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 4, 2018 surrounded by his family. Shelton was born on September 26, 1934 to Arnold Franklin Alexander and Edna Setzer Alexander in Statesville, NC. He met Judith (Kubly) Alexander in Paris, France, where both were Fulbright scholars. They married on June 16, 1958. He attended the University of North Carolina (B.S., 1956) and the California Institute of Technology (Ph.D. in Geophysics, 1963).

After serving as a geophysicist in the Air Force from 1963 to 1966, Shelton joined the Geosciences faculty of the Pennsylvania State University. He served as Department Head from 1985 to 1990. Shelton's extensive research contributed significantly to the advancement of knowledge in seismology and geophysics. He served in leadership roles for many professional organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences, American Geophysical Union, Seismological Society of America, and Geological Society of America. He was a founding member and director of Incorporated Research Institutions in Seismology (IRIS). He provided technical expertise to NASA, the National Science Foundation, and numerous other government agencies and private entities.

He cared deeply for his students and was a beloved mentor to many. He was fun-loving, kind, and always quick with a joke or a pun. In addition to his work, Shelton loved golf, poker, and especially Nittany Lion football. He was a proud and devoted father and grandfather.

Shelton is survived by his wife Judy, daughters Cindy Alexander of Seattle, WA and Cathy Doppelt (Harvey) of Chappaqua, NY, and grandchildren Michael Doppelt and Eric Doppelt. Friends are invited to a graveside service on Tuesday, July 10 at 1:00 pm at Centre County Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Seismological Society of America (

Koch Funeral Home is assisting with the arrangements.

Name of Deceased

Shelton Alexander



Date of Death


Date of Birth


Funeral Home

Koch Funeral Home

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