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Russell Dubisch ’67

June 7, 2016, in San Diego, California.

Russ was born in Missoula, Montana, and grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of California, where his father, Roby Dubisch, taught mathematics at what was then Fresno State College. From an early age, Russ was interested in physics and astronomy, building telescopes and setting off rockets in the backyard. After high school, he attended Caltech for a year before transferring to Reed, where he majored in physics. He wrote his thesis, “An Inverted Atmosphere Model for the Martian Blue Haze,” with Prof. Robert Reynolds [physics 1963–2002]. He attended graduate school at Cornell, where he studied with Carl Sagan, serving as a coauthor with Sagan on several articles.  In 1977, he received his PhD from the department of physics and astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh with a dissertation titled “Real Miniheavens.” Russ served as a fellow at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1971.

He married Susan Bromberg ’65, and they had two children, Robert and Michael, but later divorced. Russ was a very laid-back professor during his 27 years of teaching physics and astronomy courses at Siena College in Loudonville, Albany County, New York. He taught with great enthusiasm, and, of course, his students called him Dr. Dubisch. Upon retiring in 2007, he moved to San Diego with his wife, Claudia Obata, whom he married in 1998.

Russ was always interested in the workings of the world; was an accomplished musician, craftsman, and woodworker; and produced high- quality guitars and other beautiful objects. He is survived by his wife, Claudia Obata; his brother, Ralph Dubisch; his sister, Jill Dubisch ’65; and his sons, Robert and Michael Dubisch.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2017

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