OBITUARY: William Earl Stein May 30, 1924 – Sept. 17, 2014

William Earl Stein May 30, 1924 – Sept. 17, 2014

William Earl Stein (Bill) passed away on September 17, 2014 after a brief illness.

Bill was born on May 30, 1924 to David and Phoebe Stein in Rochester, New York. Bill was dedicated to serving his country. Bill’s father had served in the U.S. Navy during WWI, and Bill followed his example by enlisting in the Navy at the end of WWII. He served on the cruiser USS Cleveland, and then was sent to study electrical engineering at the University of Virginia by the Navy. 

While at the University of Virginia, Bill was a distinguished scholar and earned many honors. He was also a member of the University’s illustrious Raven Society.

Bill graduated and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy in 1946. Soon after, Bill met and married the love of his life, Peggy Lou Cody. Together, they drove across the country so Bill could attend graduate school at Stanford University. Bill received his Masters Degree in physics from Stanford University in 1950.

Bill and Peggy moved to Los Alamos in 1949 where Bill worked at the reactor at Omega Site at the newly established Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. Bill was recalled into the Navy during the Korean War and served on the aircraft carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt as a special weapons officer. Bill and Peggy returned to Los Alamos and Bill resumed his work at LASL while also completing his PhD in physics at the University of New Mexico in 1962. 

In 1966-67, Bill and Peggy spent a year in England while Bill worked at Harwell Laboratory in Oxfordshire. During that year, Bill and Peggy, with kids in tow, spent most of their free time touring Europe.  They developed an appreciation for French wine, English ale, German schnitzel, and Italian hospitality. They returned to Los Alamos, and became one of the first families to live in the Pajarito Acres subdivision. Bill and Peggy prized the semi-rural setting because it provided ample opportunity for gardening and growing their own food. 

Bill retired from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1982 and he and Peggy spent his retirement traveling to the greatest fishing spots in the United States. Bill was a proud member of the New Mexico Sailing Club, and he and Peggy could be found most summers at Heron Lake sailing on their boat and assisting other sailing club members with their vessels. 

Bill was a devoted husband and steadfast father. He is survived by his wife, Peggy, and his four children: William Stein, Jr. and his wife Connie, Susan Stephens, Richard Stein, and James Stein and his wife Veronica Rodriguez. He is also survived by his three grandchildren: Penny Stephens, Megan Stephens, and Joshua Stein, as well as his three great-grandchildren: Randy McCarthy, Rheanna Granich, and Anthony Harvey. 

Bill will always be remembered for his dedication to his work, his family, and especially his wife of 67 years. The family is grateful of the care given to Bill by the staff at Los Alamos Medical Center, in particular the ICU nurses, Dr. Bard Rogers, and Dr. Sara Pasqualoni. The family is especially grateful to the care given to him by his personal doctor, Dr. James Ziomek.

Bill’s ashes will be interred at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe, New Mexico at a later date.

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