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Louis Soltanoff, a former Stamford resident, died on March 5, 2013. He was 95. Lou grew up in Montclair, NJ with his parents Israel (Sam) and Elizabeth, and brother Walter above their candy store. Graduating in 1939 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he joined the Merchant Marines and then the Marine Corps, serving as a major in the Pacific during World War II. After the war, he teamed with an architect to build innovative, low cost homes for veterans. Lou played key engineering roles in the Atlas Missile Silo Lift system that launched the Mercury astronauts, the Monorail for the 1964 New York World's Fair, and a surgical stapler for which he held one of his several patents. Other designs included an airport baggage handling system, a minesweeper, and a device to evenly distribute chocolate chips in ice cream. Lou was also a fine writer of essays as well as articles on innovation. Known for his wit, he never lost his sweetness and good humor. Devoted and beloved husband of Dorothy (Popelowsky), he was father to Phil and Emily, father-in-law to Arch MacInnes and the late Stephanie Mnookin, and grandfather to Sam and Rebecca MacInnes.
Published in StamfordAdvocate on Apr. 4, 2013