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Ernest F. RETZEL

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Ernest F. RETZEL Obituary
May 11, 1949 - November 8, 2012 Born in Detroit, Michigan, Ernie had a distinguished career that spanned several academic disciplines. He did his undergraduate work in micro-biology and French literature at Michigan State University, and then continued his graduate studies in viral pathogenesis with his Ph.D. micro-biology work at the University of Minnesota. He established at UMN one of the first groups working specifically in bioinformatics. The goals of this group paralleled ongoing work early in the Human Genome Project and involved genomic sequencing, database technologies, and high performance computing for molecular research in plants. This group eventually developed into the Center for Computational Genomics and Bioinformatics, a campus-wide center that worked to merge state of the art information technologies, biological curation, supercomputing, and computer science into an effective research partner for the broader agricultural research community. While most of his career was at the University of Minnesota, he moved to Santa Fe in 2007 to accept a position as the Program Leader in Genomics and Bioinformatics at the National Center for Genome Resources. Ernie passed away peacefully at home with his family present. Burial near his parents and family took place November 17, 2012 at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield, Michigan. His parents, Ernest and Mary Retzel, and his sister, Mary Stockham precede him in death. Ernie is survived by his loving wife, Catherine Clark, and their many cats. In addition, he is survived by his sister, Roberta Kromm (Dave) and their children and grandchildren, and the children and grandchildren of his sister, Mary Stockham (Jim).

Published in Pioneer Press on Dec. 9, 2012
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