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Ronald Newburgh

NEWBURGH, Ronald Physicist, teacher, scholar, devoted and beloved husband, father and grandfather died at age 84 on March 30th. Ronald was a very special person with an inquisitive and creative mind and a remarkable ability to find joy in life. He had a photographic memory and a wonderful sense of humor - a combination that made him an accomplished punster and story-teller. His interests were many - the classics, music, history, fine cooking, numismatics, Turkish ceramics and carpets, travel, languages and so much more. He was formed at Harvard University - Class of 1946. He then studied at the Institute of Physical Chemistry, University of Zurich, Switzerland (1946-1949). Upon his return to Boston, he worked at the Electronics Corporation of America. There he discovered a process for sensitizing Lead Sulfide which was incorporated into the eye of the Sidewinder Missile - a process still classified under a secrecy order of the DOD. He received his Doctorate in Physics from MIT in 1959. He then joined the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories in Bedford as a research physicist and later as a section chief. In 1987 he retired and started a second career - teaching High School physics. He taught at Worcester Academy (1987-1990), the River School in Weston (1990-2000), and the Noble and Greenough School (2001-2002). In 1991 he was named a Physics Teaching Resource Agent by the American Association of Physics Teachers. Also in 1991, he joined the staff at the Harvard Extension School teaching elementary physics. He taught there through December 2009. Teaching became his primary avocation and he produced many pedagogical papers. He always sought reason and understanding - in life, in work and in the world. He leaves his wife Selma Abigadol, whom he married in 1970, his children from his first marriage - Alexander Newburgh and Stephanie Lyon, their spouses - Tracy Newburgh and Edward Lyon, and four grandchildren - Gabriela and Kristina Newburgh and Tanya and Curtis Lyon. The funeral will be private. A memorial service will be announced for a later date.


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