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1918 Norman 2013

Norman Obituary

February 20, 1918 — February 23, 2013

Norman Milton Gailar, Ph.D., 95, passed away on February 23, 2013, at the Oak Ridge Methodist Medical Center. He was born in Alfred, NY, the middle child of three. Norman had a sister, Silvia (deceased), and a brother, Owen, all of whom physicists. Norman attended Syracuse University, where he received a B.S. degree in physics. He was elected into Phi Bata Kappa and was the salutatorian of his graduating class. He went on to earn an M.S. degree in physics from Syracuse and was later drafted into the U.S. Air Force during World War II and served as a navigator. After the war, Norman took a position at the U. S. Bureau of Standards in Washington, D. C. Norman later returned to School at the Ohio State University, earning a Ph.D. in physics. He took a faculty position at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he had a satisfying and distinguished career spanning approximately 30 years. While at U.T., Norman won a NASA grant to develop and build a molecular spectrometer. Once designed and built, he ran a successful research program which led to numerous publications and an international reputation in infrared spectroscopy. He retired from U.T. as a Professor Emeritus. Norman was an avid fisherman, once owning a large fishing boat and taking frequent trips to the Bahamas to go deep sea fishing. He was an avid wine connoisseur who grew his own grapes and also made some of his own wines. Norman, with a group of Tennessee viticulturist, won the prestigious Montiff Award for wine growing. The sterling silver bowl which was awarded was placed at the Tennessee Governor's mansion for permanent display. Most important to Norman was his love of family and his many dogs. Over the years, Norman cared for some 15 dogs. He was also a strong family man, having married Joanne Stern Levey some 43 years ago. He was also a very devoted father to his three step-children, all of who regarded him loving as their father. Norman is survived by his loving wife, Joanne Stern Levey Gailar, brother Owen M. Gailar of California, step-daughter and son-in-law Nancy and Ted Cole of Florida, and step-son and daughter-in-law Robert and Teresa Levey of Knoxville. He was preceded in death by his step-son Ralph P. Levey, III.
A brief memorial service will be held Wednesday February 27, 2013 6:00pm at the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church, located at 1500 Oak Ridge Turnpike, to be followed by a receiving of friends. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to the Oak Ridge Animal Shelter, 395 Belgrade Road, Oak Ridge, TN 37831.



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