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H. Gray Multer

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Age 82, of Horseheads, NY, formerly of Arkport, NY, died peacefully at his home on Thursday, October 23, 2008, after a long battle with several cancers. He was born in Syracuse, NY, son of the late Bertha and Harold Multer. Predeceased by his first wife Barbara Love in 1962, he is survived by his wife, Susan, of 36 years; daughters, Christy Multer of Glenville, NY and Jenny Monroe of Caton, NY; grandchildren Leah Fagerstrom, Sean Monroe, Paul Filbrich and Fletcher Monroe; and great-grandchildren Kaitlyn and Lucas Monroe. During his years at Arkport Central School, Gray earned the rank of Eagle Scout and played on the varsity basketball team, winning the county championship. Before graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17 and served on the bridge of a destroyer in the Pacific doing picket duty off Okinawa. He received a medical discharge after the war. Gray earned his A.B. and M.S. degrees from Syracuse University and was employed for two years as a petroleum geologist with the Texaco Oil Company in California. After he earned a Ph.D. degree from Ohio State University, Dr. Multer had a thirty-year career as Professor of Geology, first at the College of Wooster in Ohio (where he was also Elder and Superintendent of Sunday School at the Westminster Presbyterian Church) and then at Fairleigh Dickinson University where he was founding Chairman of its Department of Geology on the Madison, NJ campus and founding Director of its marine laboratory in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. He also lectured at the Danforth Foundation, was Visiting Professor at the University of Miami and Bermuda Biological Laboratory, was Director of National Science Foundation - sponsored Short Courses for College Teachers and a Fulbright Scholar and Senior Professor at Marburg University in Germany. Dr. Multer authored or co-authored over 70 scientific publications and several books. He received the 1985 John Moss Award for Excellence in College Teaching and a 2008 Honorary Membership from the International Society for Reef Studies for his distinguished coral reef research and service to the society. In retirement he continued research in Antigua and the Florida Keys. He also served as consulting environmental geologist on various projects in the U.S. and overseas. Whenever possible he volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. Local friends are invited to the Multer home at 10 Cortland Lane in Horseheads on Thursday, October 30 from 5 to 7 p.m. A joyful Celebration of Life service and reception will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 23 at the interdenominational Union University Church in Alfred. Memorial donations may be made to the Union University Church, 29 North Main Street, Alfred, NY 14802.

Published in Star-Gazette on Oct. 26, 2008
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