Robert C. Blosser moved with enthusiasm in the world of electrical engineering, where he was known for his defense-related work in optics, systems engineering and systems analysis.

With an unassuming nature, he moved with equal interest in the world of human interaction, teaching a grandson chess, gifting a young granddaughter with an American Girl doll, and giggling with his daughter, his family said.

Blosser, a longtime Northport Village resident with a PhD from Princeton University, died April 17 at his home from the effects of pulmonary fibrosis. He was 72.

A memorial service to celebrate his life is planned for noon Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church of Northport, where Blosser was an ordained elder.

"I always knew I wanted to be an engineer or a physicist," he wrote in a 50th anniversary journal commemorating his first of three electrical engineering degrees from Princeton, said his son, John Blosser of Greenlawn.

His father's work in the defense electronics field led to the improved ability to detect noxious gases and camouflaged targets such as improvised explosive devices, his son said. It was for the latter that Blosser was honored in 2010 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Region 1.

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"He was a well-rounded guy" who loved learning new things, said his son. Whatever his father worked on, he would "attack with vigor," be it sailing, skiing, karate.

Born Sept. 6, 1940, in Erie, Pa., he attended Cranford High School, Cranford, N.J., where he met his future wife, the former Caryl-Lynn K. Sellers. She died in 2004 after 42 years of marriage.

Blosser served in the U.S. Army from 1962 to 1964, assigned to the Army Ordnance Corps in Manheim, Germany, his son said. He also went on to receive an MBA from John Carroll University in Cleveland.

After accepting a job in 1978 at what was then known as Litton Datalog, Blosser and his family moved to Long Island. Having worked for companies that included Fairchild Industries, Northrop-Grumman and BAE Systems, Blosser was employed at the time of his death by Advanced Acoustic Concepts, Hauppauge.

At one of their regular lunches Blosser said in the past year that he still loved the challenge of working in engineering, said David Spencer, president of SpencerLab in Melville. They worked together at two companies, including a laser printer development firm they co-founded with two others in the 1980s.

Blosser maintained a wry sense of humor and delight in laughing right into his hospice days, said daughter Susan Schwartz of Manhattan. "We could be so silly together."

Besides his son and daughter, he is survived by son Geoffrey Blosser, of Dover, N.H.; three grandchildren and two step-grandchildren; a sister Marilyn Meyer, of Henrico, Va.; and brother Donald Blosser, of Scottsdale, Ariz.