H. Gunther Rudenberg, 88: Physicist with The Manhattan Project, made key contributions to science
SCARBOROUGH — H. Gunther Rudenberg, 88, physicist, electronic engineer, science historian, died Jan. 16 in Scarborough.
He was born on Aug. 9, 1920, in Charlottenburg, (Berlin), Germany to botanist Lily Minkowski Rudenberg and engineer and professor Reinhold Rudenberg, who held the first patents and a role in the invention of the Electron Microscope.
While attending the Felsted School in England, his family left Germany to join him in England after the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 were enacted.
With his parents and two siblings, Angelica and Hermann, they moved to the United States in 1938 after his father was invited to head the department of electrical engineering at Harvard University.
Rudenberg received a master's degree physics in 1942 from Harvard. He left his studies to join the U.S. Army, and was stationed in Los Alamos, N.M. from 1943-1946. He worked on the Manhattan Project, including a role in measuring the atomic blasts at Bikini Atoll.
After the war, he returned to Harvard, graduating with a Ph.D. in electron physics in 1950.
He married Marian Joan Ritchie of Duluth, Minn. in December, 1952 in Orleans, Mass. They lived in Beverly, Mass. from 1954-1997. They later moved to Piper Shores Retirement Community in Scarborough.
Rudenberg devoted his career to the field of science research, working on early solar cells, consulting in micro-chip semiconductor research and integrated circuits.
He was also community-minded, serving on the vestry and choir of St. Peter's Episcopal Church, volunteering as a scout leader and community advocate.
His avocations included genealogy, sailing, photography, computers and gardening.
After his retirement, he nurtured a passion for the history of science, writing about electron microscopy and the discovery of the electron.
He was predeceased by his wife Marian, who died in August, 2006.
He is survived by three children, daughter Elizabeth Rudenberg and husband Dan Merson, and their children Abigael, Jacob, and Isaac of Falmouth, son Paul and wife Marguerite Rudenberg and their children Nathaniel, Peter, and Joanna of Les Cayes, Haiti, and son Jim and wife Gloria Rudenberg and their children Jonathan, Paul, Emily, Annie, and Daniel of Wakefield, Canada; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorial services were held last week.
Memorial donations can be made to Heifer International, or to the Reinhold Rudenberg Memorial Prize at Harvard Univ. or MIT H. Gunther Rudenberg.
Arrangements are by Independent Death Care of Maine.
Memorial condolences can be expressed at independentdeathcare.com.