Fire Victim Was Noted Scientist, Worked with Enrico Fermi

Ronald L. Martin, who perished in last Saturday’s house fire along with his wife Eleanor, formerly held a high position at Argonne National Laboratories.

The 90-year-old man who was killed in a house fire on the 900 block of Kensington Avenue in La Grange on Dec. 8 had a distinguished career as an “internationally recognized” scientist, according to an obituary published in the Chicago Tribune.

Ronald L. Martin served in the navy during World War II, received his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Chicago, and worked with the famous physisict Enrico Fermi as a grad student. 

Martin produced pioneering work in laser tech “recognized” by Nobel laureate, Hans Bethe, worked for Argonne National Laboratory and retired as director of the High Energy Physics Division, and later founded a company working on proton therapy, the obit said.

A guestbook entry posted by a Marjorie Claire from Lombard on Legacy.com declared that, “Ron's genius reached far beyond the books of knowledge and physics. His star is for humanity.” 

A separate obituary for Eleanor Martin, Ron’s wife, who also died in the fire, also noted the couple’s propensity for travelling and membership in the Circumnavigator’s Club.

The cause of the fire is still officially under investigation.


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