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R. Lee Aamodt

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R. Lee Aamodt 1917 ~ 2006 R. Lee Aamodt , the oldest of four children of Mary Villa (Fairbourn) Aamodt and Albert L. Aamodt, was born on February 14, 1917 and, at the age of 89, died peacefully on September 4, 2006 at his home and with his family at his side in Jaconita, NM. Lee was born in Granger but grew up on 45th South in Murray where, as a young man attending Murray High School, he was very interested in amateur radio (QSL card W6FPJ). In 1938 he joined the U.S. Navy, where he served as a radioman during World War II and, while stationed in San Diego, married Barbara Quinn on Feb. 14, 1941. He was discharged with the rank of Chief Petty Officer in 1945. Following the war Lee returned to the University of Utah to complete his bachelor's degree. While attending the University of Utah he worked for radio station KDYL at their transmitter terminal a few miles west of State Street. He then went on to the University of California, Berkeley, where he received a Ph.D. in physics in 1951. In that same year he began a career as a scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. He remained at the lab until his retirement in 1982, and during this time participated in a large number of nuclear tests at the Nevada Test Site, the South Pacific, and other locations. During the latter part of his career he worked on developing geothermal power sources as part of the Hot Dry Rock project. Dr. Aamodt received many awards and recognitions during the course of his career. After his retirement he was happy to find time to pursue his hobbies which included astronomy, solar power, and gardening at their New Mexico country home. Lee was devoted to his wife Barbara and their five children-- three sons, Roger, Paul and Eric, and two daughters, Christine and Denise. He is survived by all five children and their families, his wife Barbara, and a brother, Melvin H. Aamodt of Turlock, California. His parents, as well as his two sisters, Marion Arlene Silver and Shirley Constance Bradford, are deceased.
Published in Deseret News on Nov. 11, 2006
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