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Obituary: Blair Swartz 1932- 2019

on January 30, 2019 - 8:10am

BLAIR SWARTZ Jan. 10, 2019

Blair Swartz passed away peacefully in his sleep on January 10, 2019.

He is survived by Laura, his wife of 64 years, and his daughter Stacey.

Blair was born in Detroit, Michigan. He received a B.S. in Physics from Antioch College and an M.S. in Mathematics from MIT before coming to Los Alamos in 1958 as a Research Associate in the T-1 Computing Group. Early in his career at LANL he was recognized as an outstanding mathematician and accepted the Lab's offer to continue his education. He attended NYU, where he received his PhD. in Applied Mathematics.

His professional interests included the numerical solutions of differential equations, and the numerical approximation of functions and functionals. In 1983, while in the T-7 Numerical Analysis/Applied Mathematics Group, Blair became a Fellow. He retired in 1991, but quickly returned to the Laboratory and continued to do the work he loved, well into his 70's. 

Blair and Laura loved the New Mexico outdoors, made their home in Los Alamos (they designed and built one of the first homes on Barranca Mesa), and never left.

In addition to hiking and cross-country skiing, Blair was an avid wine enthusiast and bird watcher. As a volunteer for both the Wildlife Center and the Santa Fe Raptor Center, he put in countless hours of work for both organizations.

He was often seen with Laura at school educational programs and fundraising events poring over his well-worn copy of the Sibley Guide to Birds, enthusiastically trying to help locals and visitors alike identify “that bird I saw in the tree yesterday”. As with his work, Blair was the happiest when sharing his knowledge and experience with others.

A private memorial service will be held in the Spring.