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Victor Vincent Verbinski

VERBINSKI VICTOR VINCENT May 7, 1922 to January 9, 2005 Doctor Victor Vincent Verbinski, a nuclear physicist renowned for his innovative design and development of radiation based security devices for the detection of hidden explosives, other weapons and contraband. Victor was born in 1922, in Shickshinny Pennsylvania. One of eleven children, he grew up speaking Polish at home on the family farm. His father who had emigrated from Poland and worked in the nearby coal mines. An eager student, Victor walked two miles to a one room school house, where he skipped the 5th grade. At age 17, Victor joined the Army Air Corps to "get away from the farm." He survived Pearl Harbor shortly thereafter. After his service in W.W.II, Victor thanked the GI bill for his B.S. at MIT and his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Pennsylvania. While at Penn, Victor fell in love with Laurette Ann McGovern. They married shortly after his graduation. Vic's career brought him to the National Lab in Oak Ridge Tennessee and later to General Atomics in La Jolla, where he worked at the linear accelerators facility. In Oak Ridge in the early 60s he participated in local desegregation efforts. He also had a profound love of nature and the outdoors. In La Jolla he took up SCUBA diving, led fossiling and camping expeditions, and at the age of 60, taught himself to ski. In 1975, he joined SAIC, where he worked on non-destructive testing, nuclear energy and the development of sensors for nuclear engery, non destructive testing, mine detection and most recently safe guard and security. His research eventually led him, with others at SAIC, to create the VACIS (Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System) line of products. These products have helped for years in the detection of contraband and explosives at facilities at home and abroad. Since 9/11, Victor has helped expand the application of VACIS for the detection of improvised explosive devices and weapons of mass destruction. Victor was very proud to be part of the team at SAIC, until the time of his demise at age 82. He was recently recognized by the Smithsonian Institute for the Innovation of the Year in Transportation for VACIS. He is deeply missed by his wife and five children, Janine Verbinski McNally, Claire Verbinski, Diane Verbinski Jarrett, Gregor Verbinski and Doctor Steven Verbinski, his ten grandchildren, Gabrielle and Grace Jarrett, Noelle, Claire, Eve, Xavier and Violet McNally, Anton and Ivan Verbinski and Sebastian Verbinski, his two siblings Violet Verbinski Heim Gens and Walter Verbinski and his 35 nieces and nephews and numerous grandnieces and grandnephews. A Memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 14, at the Church of the Good Samaritan, 4321 Eastgate Mall, at Eastgate and Genesee. A celebration of Victor's life will follow the Mass at his family home. In lieu of flowers, and in honor of Victor's deep-felt concern for injustice and those in need, remembrances may be sent to the San Diego Catholic Worker at P.O. Box 127244, San Diego, CA 92112 (619)298-3755 or to Doctors Without Borders at 333 7th Ave., 2nd floor, New York, NY 10001. Victor will be commemorated in cenotaph in the Garden of the Resurrection at El Camino Memorial Park. His ashes will be scattered over the ocean, in accordance with his lifelong wish. Please sign the guest book at obituaries.uniontrib.com
Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Jan. 12, 2005
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