In Memoriam: Robert Bruce Marr
Posted: August 5, 2010
Robert Marr, who joined the BNL Physics Department as a research associate on May 11, 1959, and retired from the Department of Applied Science (DAS) as a senior physicist on September 30, 1995, died at 78 on April 26, 2010. He moved to the Applied Mathematics Department as an associate physicist in May 1961, and rose to senior physicist with tenure by 1968. On February 3, 1975, he became Applied Mathematics’ Acting Department Chair and Chair on December 1. After three years, he returned to research, moving to DAS in October 1988. Post-retirement, he worked on a guest senior physicist from February 1, 1996, until December 9, 2003.
The following article was sent by Nancy Marr.
Bob was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, but spent most of his school years in Weymouth, just south of Boston. He enjoyed playing the clarinet, and played it most weekends with one of the local marching bands. After his graduation from Weymouth High School, he attended M.I.T., and then received his Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard University in 1959. He served for six months in the army before joining Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1959. During his career, he achieved the rank of Senior Scientist, serving as Chairman of the Applied Mathematics Department from 1975 to 1978. He is probably best known for his contributions to the field of digital visualization, having done notable work in physics bubble chamber analysis and computer tomography; his findings are used in CAT scan and MRI software to this day.
He played the clarinet, and said that as a high school student he spent most weekends playing with one of the local marching bands. In college, he learned to love mountain climbing and square dancing, and then as a Long Islander, sailing. He acted with the Brookhaven Lab Theater Group, and then Theater Three, and also called contra dances and English dances for LITMA. He taught himself accounting, and for many years volunteered with the BHEP Alliance, overseeing their financial records and preparing reports. He volunteered as a tax preparer at the South Country Library and the Boys and Girls Club.
Bob is survived by his brother, David E. Marr, his wife, Nancy, whom he married in 1954, three children, Richard, Jonathan, and Rebecca, and six grandchildren, Abbey, Jessica, Gabe, Clayton, Randall, and Jacob.
Last Modified: August 5, 2010