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Laurence James CAHILL Jr.

Age 88 in Tucson, Arizona On September 12, 2013. Preceded in death by wife Alice (Krieger). Survived by sons, Laurence James the 3rd, Duluth and Thomas (Kitty) and Daniel (Gwen Schwebel), Saint Paul; granddaughters, Betsy Cahill, Rochester, Margaret (Bjorn) Reed, Duluth, Amy (Matthew Lunser) Cahill, Shakopee, and Jane (Andrew) Poole, Duluth; and great grandchildren, Kael Lunser-Cahill, Shakopee and Evelyn and Arlo Reed, Duluth. Born and raised in Maine, he returned there almost every summer to visit family and to enjoy the natural beauty of the state and his lifelong hobby of sailing. He left Maine to attend the US Military Academy at West Point, NY and graduated in the class of 1946. He went on to be a pilot in the US Air Force. He met Alice when the Air Force sent him to the University of Chicago and they married in 1949. In 1954 he left the Air Force to pursue an academic career. He received a Ph. D. in Physics from the University of Iowa in 1958 and began conducting basic research into the nature of the earth's magnetic field and related phenomena. This research primarily involved recording measurements of magnetic field strength and direction with instruments launched on high altitude rockets and several of NASA's early earth orbiting satellites. He was professor of Physics at the University of New Hampshire, Durham, until 1968 when he came to the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis to be Director of the University's Space Science Center and a professor of Physics. During his scientific career he published numerous papers and articles in scientific journals, presented his research findings at many international conferences and enjoyed working with colleagues from many other institutions and countries. In 1971 he was elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union. In 1987, a mountain peak - Mount Cahill in Palmer Land, Antarctica - was named for him in recognition for research conducted at Siple and South Pole Stations during the 1970s. As an educator, he taught introductory and advanced physics to several generations of students and mentored numerous graduate students and research associates who went on to distinguished careers of their own. In 1995 Laurence and Alice retired to Tucson and settled in the Academy Village community there. During his military and scientific careers and in retirement Laurence relished every opportunity to travel the globe, often accompanied by Alice. He visited every continent multiple times, and never missed an opportunity to indulge his boundless intellectual curiosity by exploring the geography, history and culture of each unique area of the world and its people. Laurence and Alice lived their credo of gathering a richness of knowledge, friendship and memories before material wealth. Together they enjoyed a long and happy life and they wish the same for you.




Published in Pioneer Press on Oct. 6, 2013
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