May 23, 1926 - September 13, 2015
Beloved husband, father, grandfather, relative and friend. Born May 23, 1926 in XVI District (Ottakring), Vienna, Austria, he passed away aged 89 on September 13, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. His mother Rivka (“Regina”), nee Pak, was from Lanskorun in western Ukraine; his father Michael was from Polish Galicia. Along with Kurt’s late older brother Adolf they were a poor Jewish family. Regina and Kurt (aged 12) left Vienna for the U.S. after the Nazi takeover of Austria in 1938 to join Adolf who had made his way to the United States earlier. Michael was unable to acquire a U.S. Visa under the racist immigration law of 1924, under which he languished on the over-subscribed Polish quota waiting list. He did not survive the war. Michael’s half-brother was already in the U.S.; he guaranteed Regina and Kurt would not become indigent as part of their visa application. Their passage was paid for by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. They came to America in steerage (third class) on the Queen Mary. Kurt, Adolf and Regina reunited in Philadelphia. All of them (including Kurt as a teenager) worked at low paid jobs in the garment industry. Kurt graduated from Northeast High School in 1945; he volunteered for service in World War II but was rejected due to terrible eyesight. With the assistance of a scholarship he matriculated at the University of Pennsylvania but dropped out in late 1946 after surviving rheumatic fever. He spent the winter of 1947 recuperating in Tucson, Arizona, where he taught at the Fenster Ranch School. Returning to Philadelphia, Kurt worked various jobs and studied art in the late 1940s. During the Korean War he worked at the Frankford Arsenal, doing calculations for automated fire control systems. Unimpressed with the physicists supervising him and sure he could do better, he set his sights on a career in physics. He resumed his education at Temple University and graduated in 1954. That same year he married the former Eleanora Elvira Mannino and began graduate training in Physics at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Master’s degree in 1956, and following his dissertation research at Brookhaven National Laboratory he received his PhD in 1959, the year his daughter Linda (“Leah”) was born. After two years as a postdoctoral research associate at Penn, during which time his son Michael was born, Kurt accepted a tenure track assistant professorship at Ohio State University in 1961. Kurt had a distinguished career as an elementary particle physicist at Ohio State. As the first to be hired in that specialty he played a key role in recruiting other particle physicists to the department. He was awarded tenure and promotion in 1964, the year son David was born. A sabbatical at CERN (the European Center for Nuclear Research) followed in 1968-69; he was promoted to Professor in 1970. A second CERN sabbatical followed in 1975-76. He also participated in many experiments on accelerators at Argonne National Laboratory and later at Fermilab, both outside Chicago. Kurt received many research grants and co-authored many scientific papers during his career. He retired in 1992 to undergo open heart surgery, receiving an artificial mitral valve to correct damage done to his heart during his bout of rheumatic fever years earlier. After his retirement Kurt and Eleanor enjoyed long trips to Australia and South America. Eleanor passed away in November 2014; Kurt is survived by his children Linda (Leah), Michael and David Reibel; sister in law Evelyn Reibel, brother in law Anthony Mannino, daughters in law Karen Donovan and Moira Regelson; grandchildren Joseph, Lucius, Brendan, Vera and Emmett Reibel; nieces Michelle and Diane Reibel and Annita Tedesco; nephews Peter Tedesco and Anthony Mannino, as well as grand-nieces and nephews, cousins and many friends. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 18, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. at Congregation Beth Tikvah in Columbus, Ohio.
Beloved husband, father, grandfather, relative and friend. Born May 23, 1926 in XVI District (Ottakring), Vienna, Austria, he passed away aged 89 on September 13, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. His mother Rivka (“Regina”), nee Pak,... View Obituary & Service Information
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