Welcome to the memorial page for

George Rawitscher

February 27, 1928 ~ March 10, 2018 (age 90)

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Memorial Service
September 15, 2018

2:00 PM
Storrs Congregational Church
2 N. Eagleville Rd.
Storrs, CT 06268

George Rawitscher passed away March 10, 2018, born in Freiburg, Germany on Feb. 27th 1928 to his father Felix and mother Charlotte Oberlander.  In 1934 his father of jewish origin, brought his family from Freiburg to Brazil to escape the Nazis, and founded the Botany Department at the U. Sao Paulo.

As a youth George knew he was born to be a physicist. He taught himself quantum mechanics from a book. After graduating from the University of São Paulo in 1949 he worked with the renowned Richard Feynman, who observed he would become a “real” physicist.  With a Brazilian scholarship, George earned a PhD in Physics and Mathematics from Stanford University in 1954.   While he never lived in Brazil again, he held it close to his heart, dancing samba and playing harmonica until age 90.

After working at Yale and other universities, in 1965 he joined the faculty at the UConn Physics Department, retired in 2009 and continued research as an emeritus professor until his death. A passion for Physics got George up every day of his life, through its joys and sorrows. Named a Fellow of the American Physical Society, Dr. Rawitscher published at least 100 papers and a book, on topics in nuclear physics.  His unstoppable work, and activity, became an example to the people around him. 

At Stanford, he married Mary Adams, they had two sons and remained together until her death in 1980.  George preserved his traditional European academic upbringing, respecting other people’s spaces and views, and cultivating the spirit and finding truth where it may lie.   He became a cherished member of the community at the University and in the town of Mansfield.

Living with nature has been passed down the Rawitscher generations.  Felix taught George to be a hiker, and fearless skier by age 5.   In Rio de Janeiro, George was a climber, making the first wall route up the Sugarloaf.    At Stanford he trekked the high Sierra, and later became an activist against Global Warming. 

George is amongst the last legacy of the Jewish holocaust, and always remained true to the principles and value of life.  An important part of his final years was his marriage to Joyce Rawitscher.  They worked promoting the principles of world peace.  Fundamental was his participation in the Storrs Friends Meeting with Joyce. He found with the Quakers, a space to silently share the light of the spirit.  It is that spirit we are sure he is living now.

George is survived by his sister Erika and her daughters Barbie and Maya, his sons Henry and Peter, daughter in law Bibiana and her children Guibor, Re’em and Fulmar, daughter in law Myong Ah and her family, grandchildren Ulysses and Nicholas and his mother Camila, and the family of Joyce - David, and Annie and their families, in addition to many friends and colleagues. We very much miss him, and he remains in our hearts and spirit.     An open memorial service will be held on September 15th, Storrs Congregational Church starting at 2PM.



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