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Sol Raboy remembered for physics contributions

Sol Raboy, 89, professor emeritus of physics, died Sunday, Dec. 27.

After earning a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College, he volunteered for and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, attaining the rank of captain.

Raboy received his PhD from Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon University, and joined the Binghamton University faculty in 1965 after working as a research physicist at the Argonne National Laboratory for 14 years. He served as chairman of the Department of Physics for many years. He retired in 1990, but continued to conduct research and publish papers well into his 80s.

In 1966, James Brownridge, Physics Department radiation safety officer, was recruited by Raboy.

“Sol was my mentor, colleague, research collaborator and, most of all, trusted friend,” Brownridge said. “After his retirement, we continued our research collaboration; he made a seamless transfer from nuclear physics to pyroelectrics, water and the environment. We were discussing recent research finding just days before his death.”

Juan Figueroa, PhD ’82, and a program director with the National Science Foundation, was mentored by Raboy, recalling that he originally feared the “powerful department chair” until he began working with him.

“He was always imposing, no doubt about it, but I had the opportunity to see him as the loving family man he was who embraced me as one of his own,” Figuerora said.

“He always ended all our mentor-protégé sessions with encouraging words, no matter how badly the session had gone; he was a tough teacher and a caring man.”

Raboy is survived by his sister, Evelyn Zuckerman, and seven children, including Dara Raboy-Picciano, a social worker in the University Counseling Center, Sara Meyers, Adley Raboy, Asher Raboy, Nathan Raboy, Dave Raboy, Naomi Lamoreaux, their spouses and 13 grandchildren and step-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, in the Anderson Center Reception Room with a reception immediately following.

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center

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Last Updated: 10/14/08