Professor David L. Bushnell

Professor David L. Bushnell

Professor David L. Bushnell, 85, of Mineral Point, Wisconsin, formerly of Platteville, Spring Green and DeKalb, Illinois, died on Monday, December 8, 2014 at the Mineral Point Care Center, Mineral Point, Wisconsin.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, December 20, 2014 at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, Platteville. Rev. Zayna Thompson will officiate. Burial will be at the Muscoda Cemetery, Muscoda, Wisconsin. Friends may call from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service.

David was born on April 14, 1929 in Platteville, Wisconsin, the son of Dr. Milton and Iva (Jones) Bushnell. He was united in marriage to Joan Emigholz on June 30, 1949 at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, Platteville. He graduated from Platteville High School. He received his B.A. and M.A. in physics at UW-Madison.

David grew up in Platteville where he graduated from Platteville High School. While in high school he was a state champion in track running hurdles. After high school he received his B.A. and M.A. in Physics from UW-Madison. He received his PhD from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia. Although initially a nuclear physicist his research in the later part of his career focused on solar energy and he became a strong advocate for solar power.

David taught Physics at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois for 34 years. He also taught two years at UW-Platteville after his retirement.

Dave loved nature and the outdoors. He was very athletic. He was a water safety instructor, life guard at the Platteville pool, taught swimming to children at Lake Geneva and Lake Delavan. In high school in his junior year he won the state championship in the hurdles. He also loved fishing, skiing, basketball and football.

After retirement he and Joan bought a farm outside Spring Green where they lived for almost 20 years. They had an herb and garden business and bed and breakfast. Many people enjoyed the beauty of nature and the peacefulness of the farm and Dave’s omelets.

David is survived by his love of his life, Joan; two children, Dr. David (Denise) Bushnell, Jr.; Debbie (Richard) Froze; eight grandchildren, Alexis, Jesse, Kyle and Maddie Bushnell, Lucas, Justin, Elle Froze and Jonathan Coppel; sister, Mary (Russ) Nelson; brother, Charles Bushnell. He was preceded in death by his parents, and a son, Joshua.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to Northern Illinois University Foundation, P.O. Box 746, DeKalb, IL 60115, to be used for financial assistance of students majoring in physics.

Online condolences can be made at