Arwin was born in the farming community of Dunlap, Ia. on Nov. 22, 1926, to Adelbert Isaac Dougal and Goldya White Dougal. As a youth, Arwin was an inquisitive boy and assiduous reader of books. In high school he built a "pre-vacuum tube" radio receiver. In 1939 he first flew in an airplane, and his love of flying and electronics would shape much of his life. In 1943, Arwin graduated from the Everly Consolidated School in the midst of the global conflict of WWII and in 1946 enlisted in the US Army Air Corps where he worked on the then secret air force RADAR and TELERAN equipment.
Following his military service, Arwin received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering at Iowa State University. While in college Arwin met, courted and married Margaret Jane ("Peggy") McLennan, his lifelong love and companion. Arwin earned his M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois. In 1961, he joined the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Texas where he taught for 30 years until he retired and was honored to be named a Professor Emeritus.
Arwin's dedication to teaching has been acknowledged by numerous awards, including the Teaching Excellence Award, the Outstanding Graduate Advisor Award, the Distinguished Advisor Award, and the Professional Achievement Citation in Engineering.
Arwin served in many notable positions including: Director of the UT Electronics Research Center, Assistant Director of Defense Research and Engineering for the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and Elder of Covenant Presbyterian Church. Arwin was named a Fellow in the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) for his contributions to the theory and teaching of plasma science and physical electronics. He was also named a Fellow of the American Physical Society.
Arwin loved flying and the precision and complexity of the instruments and electronics of planes. He respected the dangers of flight, understood the capricious nature of weather, and was a careful pilot. He owned many planes during his life, including an aluminum Luscombe, an aerobatic Pitts Special, a Volksplane and assorted Cessna Skyhawks.
Arwin is survived by his wife, Peggy; brother, Maurice Dougal of Spirit Lake, Ia.; children: Catherine Covington and husband, Bryan, Roger Dougal and wife, Jodi and daughter, Kara of Columbia, S.C., Leonard Dougal and wife, Diane and children: Evan, Ross and Leigh, and Laura Davis and husband, Robert and children: Zachary and Seth of Elgin; his adult grandchildren: Beth Covington Crawford and husband, Taylor, Bradley Covington and wife, Nicole, Amanda Davis Haisler and husband, Dustin, and Christina Davis Green and husband, Caleb; and 10 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 3003 Northland Dr., Austin, Texas with a reception to follow. Private burial with military honors prior to the memorial service in Austin Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the "Friends of Alec" at The University of Texas, 301 E. Dean Keeton, C2104, Austin, TX 78712-0287 to support electrical engineering students at the Cockrell School of Engineering.
Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
Arrangements by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 3125 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78705, 512-452-8811