Recent Obituaries
In Memoriam Archive

Michael Templeton ’63

April 26, 2022, in Portland.

Michael was a physicist and mathematician who made his life’s work the public understanding of science.

He was born in Wallace, Idaho, and started at Reed, but completed his bachelor’s degree and a master’s in mathematics at Portland State University. From the time he was a child, Michael took things apart to figure out how they worked. He began his career as an inventor at Tektronix and then became the director of science at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. He held leadership positions at the National Science Foundation, the Association of Science and Technology Centers, and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Michael supervised the science content on the groundbreaking children’s television show The Magic School Bus, encouraging millions of children to think of themselves as scientists and embrace their innate curiosity. He inspired the character of Dr. Marbles in the long-running WNET-13 children’s math show, Cyberchase, which he worked on for many years, reviewing scripts, designs, and animated stories to get the science right.

The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs had a special place in his heart. He served as the first interim director of the Museum at Warm Springs and was a roadie for the N’chi Wanapum Canoe Family, where Native American youth of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation connect with, interact with, and bond with elders. Up until the final week of his life, he read every book he could get his hands on.

Michael is survived by his wife, Linda Clingan; and his children, Darell Duffy, Martin Duffy, and Amelia Templeton.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2022

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