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Maurice Rattray Jr.

Maurice Rattray Jr. Obituary
Maurice Rattray, Jr.

Sept. 16, 1922 ~ Nov. 26, 2012

Resident of Concord, CA

Maurice Rattray, Jr. sailed his last voyage Nov. 26, 2012.

He moved from Seattle, WA to the S.F. Bay area in May 2012 to be nearer his children and grandchildren who gathered around him during his final days.

Born in Seattle, he attended Caltech and went on to serve in the Navy from 1943-46. He supervised the radar installation on the new heavy cruiser 'Helena (CA75)' before sailing around the world on her as a commissioned Radar officer. After leaving active duty, he returned to Caltech, receiving his Ph.D. in 1951 in Physics and Mathematics. He then joined the Oceanographic faculty at the University of Washington and retired as Professor Emeritus in 1985, having served two terms as Chairman of the Dept from 1968-1978. Maurice had an international reputation for his research on estuarine dynamics and was co-developer of the most widely used classification system for estuarine dynamics: the Hansen-Rattray Stratification-Circulation Diagram. His research included physical model studies on Puget Sound, salt intrusion studies in the Lake Washington Ship Canal, and detailed current studies in Puget Sound and East Sound, along with more than 70 publications.

He also served on a number of national committees: National Science Foundation Advisory Panel on Earth Sciences/Oceanography, US Navy Oceanographic Office consultant, US Coast Guard Science Advisory Committee, National Academy of Sciences Ocean Sciences Committee; EPA Environmental Pollutant and Transformation Advisory Committee. Between 1955 and 1967 he held a variety of offices including President in the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography. He spent 1966-67 as the Rossby Fellow at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and he was a member of the JOIDES (Deep Sea Drilling) Executive Committee and its Chairman in 1976-78.

Maurice's passion (shared with wife Mary) was sailing - both racing and cruising. He was a member of the Cruising Club of America, a Life member of the Seattle Yacht Club and Commodore of the Corinthian Yacht Club in Seattle. He competed in Dragon and Soling class World Championships in Norway, Italy, Canada and across the US. After many summers of cruising in Puget Sound and winters in the Caribbean, he and Mary made a trans-Atlantic crossing in their 42' sloop Freia in 1991 and then cruised for 10 years around the Mediterranean.

Maurice and Mary both loved music, especially the opera (one sailboat was named Turandot). They enjoyed season passes to the Seattle Opera and Symphony for many years.

Survivors include Mary, his wife (and first mate!) of 61 years, daughter Julia (Steven) Wyrick, sons Maurice, III (Karin) and Gordon Rattray, grandchildren Athena and Alex Carapanos and Greg and Devin Rattray, sister Phyllis Daleske, and many other extended family members.

A celebration of Maurice's full and active life will be held by his family following the scattering of his ashes from a sailboat on San Francisco Bay.

Remembrances may be made to the charitable organization of your choice.

Sign Mourice's online guestbook at www.legacy.com
Published in The Seattle Times on Dec. 9, 2012
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