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Francesco "Frank" Asaro


1927 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Francesco "Frank" Asaro Obituary
Francesco "Frank" Asaro
Jul 31, 1927-Jun 10, 2014
Resident of El Cerrito
Frank Asaro, best known for his work on the asteroid impact theory, passed away June 10, 2014. He is survived by his children, Frank, Antonina, Catherine, and Marianne; sister Maria Anna; and three grandchildren Catherine, Nathaniel, and Owen. He was preceded by his loving wife of 63 years, Lucille Marie.
Frank was born in San Diego on July 31, 1927, son of Nicolo and Annie Asaro, and grew up in Escondido, CA. He graduated from Escondido Union High School at 16 and attended UC Berkeley for his undergraduate and graduate degrees. On June 26, 1949, he married Lucille Marie Lavezo; they moved to El Cerrito in the late 1950s.
In 1953, Asaro earned his Ph.D. studying with Isadore Perlman. Their groundbreaking work helped support the now accepted unified model of the atomic nucleus. They also pioneered the technique of neutron activation analysis (NAA); their 1969 paper became a landmark in the field. Asaro was a scientist in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; prior to that, in the Nuclear Sciences Division. He spent much of his career developing NAA to help determine the origins of artifacts. After his retirement in 1991, he continued as an Emeritus Senior Scientist at the Berkeley Laboratory.
Frank Asaro is most famous as a member of the team that proposed an asteroid struck the Earth 65 million years ago and caused mass extinctions during the age of the dinosaurs. Other studies include the origin of stone used in the Colossi of Memnon in Egypt, built over 3400 years ago, and for demonstrating that "Drake's Plate", supposedly left by Sir Francis Drake, is a fake.
Asaro's work shows us that the past is an ever unfolding story. People leave traces of themselves in the unique chemical signatures of their artifacts. Through his work, Asaro told us stories about what it means to be human. Services will be held on Thursday, June 19, 2014 from 1:00 pm (viewing begins at 10:00 am) at Sunset View Cemetery, 101 Colusa Ave, El Cerrito, CA 94530.
If you would like more information regarding Frank Asaro's achievements please use the following link . . .
http://eetd.lbl.gov/news/article/57850/frank-asaro-nuclear-chemist-who

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Published in East Bay Times on June 18, 2014
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