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 Rudolph Bodmer was born on May 23, 1929 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. A prominent scientist, devoted husband, and loving father, Arnold passed away in his sleep on Tuesday February 11, 2020 in his home in Downers Grove, Illinois. He was ninety years old. Arnold’s father, Ernst Bodmer, was the physician of Anne Frank’s family before they fled. Arnold’s mother, Sylvia, was a well-known dancer who performed with the Laban Company. His family emigrated from Germany to England in 1938, just before Kristallnacht. Arnold earned a PhD in Physics from the University of Manchester, where he later became a professor. In 1963 he moved to the U.S. to work as a physicist at The Argonne National Laboratory and as a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was passionate about the University and instrumental in helping create and develop its physics program. Arnold formulated many innovations in nuclear physics and one of his publications about the behaviors of nuclei remains the most cited article by a physicist at UIC. In his pioneering work, he suggested the possibility of collapsed nuclei—a crucial part of the study of quark matter, known as the Strange Matter Hypothesis. His ideas continue to have significant relevance in theoretical physics and are used to explain behaviors of neutron stars. After retiring from UIC, he established a foundation that continues to award students grant money to help them with costs of traveling abroad. Arnold was married for 51 years to his wife Doris, who was also a refugee from Germany. Her family fled to Switzerland, and she later became a Swiss National Figure Skating Champion. Arnold was passionate about opera, art, history, and nature. He traveled extensively, working with physicists all over the world. He was also an animal lover, and; until the day he died, Arnold fed his fifteen-year-old dog ice cream and beer. Arnold is survived by four children, ten grandchildren, five great grandchildren and his dog, Ricky. A memorial service will be held at Mays Lake in the DuPage Forest Preserve on Saturday, February 29th at 10 AM.




Funeral Home
DuPage Cremations, Ltd. and Memorial Chapel
951 W. Washington St.
West Chicago, IL US 60185