Steven E. Pfeiffer
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PFEIFFER, S teven E. Dr. Steven E. Pfeiffer, 67, died on Sunday (August 26, 2007), at John Dempsey Hospital after a two year struggle with cancer. He was born August 13, 1940 in Watertown, WI, the son of the late Doris and Roy Pfeiffer. He graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, MN and received his doctorate in molecular biology from Washington University in Saint Louis, MO. He went on to a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Gordon Sato at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. For the past 38 years Steve worked as a professor of microbiology and neuroscience at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington. Dr. Pfeiffer's work as a biomedical scientist was aimed at finding the causes, treatments, and a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. He led research teams that provided the first comprehensive descriptions of myelin composition and of the development of oligodendrocytes. This research continues to serve as the foundation for work being carried out in laboratories throughout the world, and established him as a scientist of international reputation. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Carol Aldrich Pfeiffer, three daughters and their partners, Julie Pfeiffer and Andy Beedle, Carin-anna Pfeiffer and Joseph Schott, and Shaili Pfeiffer and Keith Pollock; by his siblings and their spouses, Cheri and Webster Hron and Ronald and Sandra Pfeiffer; by his father-in-law, L. Thomas Aldrich, and his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Peggy and Mark Kidwell; by seven grandchildren, Margaret Beedle, Theodore Beedle, Jacob Beedle, Henry Schott, Torin Schott, Ella Schott, and Sena Pollock and by several nieces and nephews. His mother-in-law Margaret Glockler Aldrich predeceased him. Steve was a founding member of and clarinetist for the Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra and an avid traveler. He loved the outdoors and won the Minnesota State Science Fair in 1958 for his project on the small mammals of Blue Earth County. He and his wife Carol shared their love of camping with their three daughters and beagles. He created beautiful outdoor spaces, including the woods and path around his home and a Zen garden. Steve was a mentor to countless students and colleagues. His keen intelligence, persistence, sense of humor, and compassion will be deeply missed. A memorial service will be held at the Universalist Church (433 Fern St. West Hartford) on Friday, August 31 at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be sent to the National MS Society, P.O. Box 4527, New York, NY 10163, The Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra, 222 Main Street #273, Farmington, CT 06032; or The Manzanar Project, 27 Cedar Street Wenham, MA 01984.

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Published in Hartford Courant on Aug. 28, 2007.