Monona County


Noel Edwin LaSeur


Hamilton County


Noel Edwin LaSeur was born June 25, 1922 to Fred and Alma Mortensen LaSeur. He died Jan. 8, 2009 in Tallahassee, FL.

Noel served with the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II. He was trained in weather observing and forecasting.

His Obituary:

Noel E. LaSeur was born June 25, 1922, in Stanhope, Iowa to Fred and Alma Mortensen LaSeur. The LaSeur family moved to Moorhead, Iowa, where Noel graduated from Moorhead High School in 1939. He enrolled at the University of Iowa in the fall of 1939 and remained there until he was drafted into the armed services in December 1942. After completing basic training, he received advanced training in weather observing and forecasting from the U.S. Army Air Corps and was stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He married his high school sweetheart, Frances Christensen, on January 23, 1942. He received an honorable discharge in February 1946. Using the GI Bill, he enrolled at the University of Chicago, where he earned his B.S. in Math in 1947, his M.S. in Meteorology in 1949, and his Ph.D. in Meteorology in June 1953. In February 1953, he joined the Meteorology Department at Florida State University. In 1954, Dr. LaSeur was a member of the first team of civilian scientists to fly into a hurricane for research purposes. An active hurricane season in 1955 prompted the federal government to fund the National Hurricane Research Project and Dr. LaSeur became an associate director. After achieving tenure at FSU in 1956, Dr. LaSeur continued teaching at FSU and actively participated in tropical meteorological research around the globe throughout the 1960s and 1970s. He became the Meteorology Department Chair in 1974. Having served two years as chair, Dr. LaSeur took a sabbatical from academia to become Director of Research at the National Hurricane Research Center in Miami, a position he held for two years before returning to teach at FSU. He remained on the FSU faculty full time until 1983 and part time until his retirement in 2001. Throughout his 50 years of service, Dr. LaSeur was a notable pioneer in planning and directing missions using aircraft and electronic data gathering for hurricane research. He actively flew research missions from the early ‘50s into the mid-'70s. His contributions to the understanding of hurricane structure and behavior are seminal. He participated in and contributed to various research and educational projects on six continents and in dozens of countries. He was one of the most highly respected tropical meteorologists in the field. Beyond his direct contributions to the technical understanding of hurricanes, Dr. LaSeur had the ability to stimulate interest, concern, and motivation in his countless students at FSU. His years of teaching generated a legacy of young scientists seeking a fuller understanding of tropical meteorology and its contributions to global weather. Noel E. LaSeur passed away January 8, 2009, after a brief battle with cancer. Survivors include Frances, his wife of 65 years; his children, Larry and Lois; two grandchildren, Patrick and Lydia; and his sisters, Anna Jane Urish and Frances Halversen. He was predeceased by another daughter, Linda. Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. EST January 17 at the Gallery at Westminster Oaks.

Source: Tallahassee Democrat on January 9, 2009.