College mourns passing of Filadelfo Panlilio

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Filadelfo Panlilio, professor of mechanical engineering emeritus, whom a colleague referred to as a “must see” professor for returning alumni, died Monday July 24, 2017, at his home in Atlanta. He was 99.

Praised by colleagues for his knowledge of subject and his willingness to help students outside the classroom, he was also vital to the development of younger faculty whom he mentored on effective ways to analyze problems.

“Filadelfo Panlilio was a man of integrity, always polite, courteous, a true gentleman,” recalled Frank Milillo, professor of mechanical engineering emeritus. “He possessed a deep knowledge of dynamics and mechanics of materials. If Fil did not have an answer to a technical question, one would be hard pressed to obtain an answer from another source. He was a very challenging teacher. He expected dedication and effort of his students, yet his office door was always open for one-on-one consultations.”

A native of Angeles on the Island of Pampanga in the Philippines, he graduated with honors from the University of the Philippines in 1938, with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering and election to Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi. In 1941, after three years teaching at his alma mater and only months before the Japanese invasion of his country, he came to the U.S. for graduate study at the University of Michigan, from which he earned his master’s and Ph.D.

He taught at Michigan from 1944 to 1948, when he returned to teach at the University of the Philippines.

He joined the Union faculty in 1955, and retired in 1987.

He wrote a text, Mechanics, based on computer programs used in his class on Finite Element Methods. He served as an industry consultant specializing in stress analysis to ALCO Products, Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory and Watervliet Arsenal.

Among his service engagements, he served on the Computer Services Advisory Panel and as the Division IV representative on the Appeals Committee.

An area resident for almost 50 years, he moved to Atlanta in 2004.

Survivors include his daughters, Cynthia Panlilio and Adelisa Panlilio; and a grandchild, Emily Eilers.

He was predeceased by his wife of almost 65 years, Dr. Elsie Belle Nessia Panlilio.

Memorial contributions may be made to the University of Michigan School of Engineering or to the charity of your choice. Online condolences may be expressed at