In Memoriam

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Robert Joseph Corruccini ’38

A picture of Robert Corruccini

Robert Joseph Corruccini ’38, January 10, 2014, in Boulder, Colorado. The son of an Italian opera singer, who became founding musical director of the Portland Opera, and an operatic singer from Nebraska, Joe earned a BA in chemistry from Reed, an MA from Oregon State College (University), and a PhD from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, in physical chemistry. While at Oregon State, he met graduate student Mildred B. Witham; they married in 1941. Joe worked for the U.S. Bureau of Standards (National Institute of Standards and Technology) as a research physicist, and later as an administrator for 30 years in Washington, D.C., and in Boulder. His work on calibration of thermocouples was later incorporated into the International Practical Temperature Scale. In the ’60s, he did research on liquid hydrogen fuel for the Saturn V rocket program that carried astronauts into space. Joe fostered an appreciation for opera, played bridge, enjoyed reading, and did mountain climbing. He made the first ascent of the Reid Glacier Headwall route on Mount Hood in 1938. Survivors include two sons, a daughter, and four grandchildren. His wife died in 2013.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2014

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