RABINOVITCH, Prof. B. Seymour
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February 19, 1919 – August 2, 2014
Benton Seymour Rabinovitch, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Chemistry, University of Washington, passed away peacefully on August 2, 2014. He was a distinguished scientist, beloved husband, father and grandfather, and a remarkable man. He was born, the youngest sibling of seven, to Samuel and Rochele Rabinovitch in Montreal, Canada in 1919. He attended McGill University, earning both his baccalaureate and doctoral degrees by the early age of twenty-three. After the War, Dr. Rabinovitch was awarded a Milton Fellowship and a Royal Society of Canada Fellowship enabling him to conduct postdoctoral studies in physical chemistry at Harvard University. Dr. Rabinovitch joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Washington (UW) in 1948. He married Marilyn Werby of Boston in 1949, and they made their home in Seattle. They had twenty-four years of joyful marriage, raising four children. After Marilyn's untimely death in 1974, Professor Rabinovitch married Flora Reitman of Montreal, Canada in 1980, and together they enjoyed over thirty-four years of loving marriage, pursuing many mutual interests, including the extensive research and collecting of antique and contemporary decorative arts. Professor Rabinovitch taught and pursued research as a UW faculty member for nearly four decades. In his research career, he was a virtuoso of experimental physical chemistry; his work provided the first experimental verification of important theories of molecular dynamics and energy transfer within molecules in the gas phase. In 2005, the University established the B.S. Rabinovitch Endowed Chair of Chemistry in his honour. Professor Rabinovitch was a continual inspiration to his family and to all who knew him. His generosity, kindness, warmth, philanthropy, and charm will be cherished. He is survived by his beloved wife Flora, children Peter (Jacqueline), Ruth (Thomas), Judith (Tim), Frank (Karen), stepchildren Howard (Ramona) and Ellen Reitman, as well as 12 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Memorial Service will be held in Seattle.
Published in The Gazette on Aug. 30, 2014