Arnold Bodmer Obituary

Arnold Rudolf Bodmer
Arnold Rudolf Bodmer

May 23, 1929 - February 11, 2020
Born in Frankfurt, Germany
Resided in Downers Grove, Illinois


Arnold Rudolf Bodmer was born 23 May 1929 in Frankfurt Germany. Arnold Rudolf Bodmer, prominent scientist, devoted husband, and loving father passed away in his sleep on Tuesday 11 February 2020 in his home in Downers Grove. He was 90 years old. His Father, Ernst Bodmer was a doctor in Germany and England (one of his patients was Ann Frank’s family in Frankfurt). His mother was a well know dancer who performed with the Laban troop. The family emigrated from Germany to England in 1938, just before Kristallnacht - the night when the Nazis’ destroyed thousands of Jewish homes, stores and hospitals. Arnold studied in England and earned a PhD in Physics from the University of Manchester, where he later became a professor. In 1963 he moved to Downers Grove and worked as a physicist at Argonne National Laboratory as well as the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was passionate about the University and instrumental in development of the physics program from its inception in the 1960’s. He developed many innovative ideas in nuclear physics and one of his publications about possible behaviors of the nucleus of atoms remains the most cited article ever written by a physicist at UIC. His ideas continue to be used to explain, among other things, what happens when neutron stars explode. After retiring from UIC he continued to support the university through a program that gave grants to many students so they could afford to study abroad. Arnold was married for 51 years to his wife Doris who was also a refugee from the Nazis and who won the Swiss national skating championship. He was passionate about the opera, art, history and nature. Every Sunday he would take long hikes in the forest preserve with his dogs. He is survived by four children, ten grandchildren, five great grandchildren and his fifteen-year old dog who eats chocolate ice cream and enjoys drinking beer. Services will be announced at a later date.



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951 W. Washington St.
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