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MIT community marks passing of many in 2002


The following members of the MIT community passed away in 2001. Each is listed by the date of death.

Jan. 9--Retired Dean of Engineering Alfred A.H. Keil, one of the world's leading authorities on naval architecture and ocean engineering. Keil, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, was 88 years old.

Jan. 15--Professor David M. Epstein, 71, conducted Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at his farewell performance with the MIT Symphony Orchestra in March 1998, which included the "Ode to Joy" chorale section. It capped a 33-year MIT career during which he brought the joy of music to campus. Epstein, 71, had lung and liver disease.

March 1--Retired Professor Lawrence M. Lidsky, 66, of nuclear engineering, who went public with his reservations about the efficacy of fusion as an energy source after devoting his career to its development. He battled cancer for 17 years.

March 4--Professor Emeritus Patrick Leehey, who taught ocean and mechanical engineering courses at MIT for 28 years following a 22-year career in the Navy. He was 80 years old and had pancreatic cancer.

March 9--Esther Edgerton, widow of MIT Professor Harold E. "Doc" Edgerton. She was 98 years old.

March 26--John M. Wynne, a vice president of MIT from 1967-80 under presidents Howard W. Johnson and Jerome B. Wiesner, suffered from Parkinson's disease. He was 81.

April 21--Institute Professor Emeritus Victor F. Weisskopf, a protégé of physicist Niels Bohr who helped develop the atomic bomb and later became an outspoken advocate of arms control. He was 93 years old.

April 27--Edward Cohen, composer, performer and senior lecturer in music at MIT, after a long illness. He was 61.

April 27--Professor Emeritus Felix M.H. Villars, 81, a theoretical physicist who changed directions in mid-career and became a pioneer in biological physics. He suffered from cancer.

May 1--Institute Professor Emeritus and former Provost Walter A. Rosenblith, 88, who pioneered the use of computers and mathematical models in the study of the brain as a biophysical information handling system. He had prostate cancer.

May 24--Pasquale "Pat" Melaragno, MIT's pistol coach from 1977-96, was an avuncular coach, a fun-loving companion, a compelling raconteur and an all-round straight shooter. Melaragno, 71, was also an assistant professor and rangemaster.

June 14--Professor Emeritus Henry M. Paynter, a member of the MIT faculty from 1946-85, died while working on a project in his study at home in Pittsford, Vt., surrounded by his papers and books. He was 78.

July 23--Herbert Kottler, 62, associate director of MIT Lincoln Laboratory from 1998 until his death after a long illness.

July 25--Rudiger Dornbusch, 60, an internationally renowned macroeconomist who made fundamental contributions to economic science and to international economic policy design. He suffered from cancer.

Aug. 16--Martin Deutsch, 85, a physicist from Vienna who fled fascism, worked on the Manhattan Project and later discovered an elemental form of matter.

Aug. 25--Joanne S. Miller, 66, editor of MIT Tech Talk for 31 years and co-chair of the Association of MIT Retirees. She suffered from cancer.

Oct. 7--August F. Witt, 71, internationally noted for his research in electronic materials and his devotion to teaching undergraduates. He suffered from gastric cancer.

Nov. 29--Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Francis B. Hildebrand, 87, an MIT faculty member for 44 years.

Dec. 10--Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering Robert L. Kyhl (see Kyhl's obituary in this issue).

Dec. 23--Walter L. Milne, 80 (see Milne's obituary in this issue).

Dec. 29--Reginald E. Newell (see Newell's obituary in this issue).

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 8, 2003.

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