George Wells FARWELL February 15, 1920 - April 11, 2003 Dr. George Wells Farwell, 83, Vice President for Research Emeritus and Professor of Physics Emeritus of the University of Washington, died peacefully at home on April 11. He was the beloved father, father-in-law, and grandfather of Jacqueline Farwell and her children, Forest and Julia; Lawrence Farwell and his daughter Tiera; Bruce Farwell, his wife Jane Saddler, and their children Robert, Grace, and Eric; and Barbara Alexander, her husband William Alexander, and their son Silas. He is also survived by a brother, Raymond Farwell, two sisters, Moira Kane and Virginia Hanscom, and many nieces and nephews. He was born on February 15, 1920, to Raymond and Mary Farwell and grew up in Seattle. His father was Professor of Astronomy and Naval Science at the University of Washington. After graduating from Harvard in 1941 he began graduate studies in physics at Berkeley. In 1943 he joined the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, New Mexico. He participated in the first atomic bomb detonation at Trinity Site, New Mexico, in 1945. After the war he completed his PhD under Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi. He joined the faculty of the University of Washington in 1949, where his career spanned nearly 50 years. His research in physics dealt with the spontaneous fission process, nuclear structure, and time reversal invariance in nuclear reactions. In 1960 he studied at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and the family lived in Denmark for a year. He conducted and published research on the relationship between consciousness and matter with his son Lawrence, a neuroscientist. With his daughter Jacqueline, a neurologist, he published a paper analyzing survival with brain tumors using radioactive decay as a model. In the years before his retirement he investigated paleoclimatology through radiocarbon dating. At various times in his career at the U.W. he was Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Acting Director of the Division of Marine Resources. As Vice President for Research he guided the U.W.'s programs in oceanography and marine biology in attaining international prominence. He was an avid outdoorsman and mountaineer. As a child he spents summers at a cabin on Puget Sound at Sandy Beach on the Kitsap Peninsula. There he enjoyed swimming, boating, rowing, fishing, catching crabs, and digging clams. He provided the same experience for his children and later for his grandchildren. An enthusiastic skier and ski jumper, he taught all his children to ski. He was one of the early members of The Mountaineers and also belonged to the Swiss Alpine Club. He climbed mountains throughout the world, including in the Cascades, Olympics, Alps, and Himalayas. He once climbed the Matterhorn, the Weisshorn, and Monte Rosa all in the same week. He was a talented musician and played the French horn throughout his life. He was deeply loved and will be greatly missed. A Memorial Service will be held on April 30 at 3:00 p.m. at the University Unitarian Church.
Published in The Seattle Times from Apr. 17 to Apr. 18, 2003.