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Valpo Remembers

Manuel Martin Bretscher

Winter 2019

Manuel Martin Bretscher, age 89, died Sept. 3, 2017.

Professor Bretscher earned his bachelor’s degree in physics and his Ph.D. in nuclear physics from Washington University. From 1954 to 1956, Professor Bretscher served as an assistant pro- fessor of physics at Auburn University, Alabama. There he met Miriam Horton, whom he married on June 7, 1955.

Teaching and research were Professor Bretscher’s professional passions. He joined the faculty of Valparaiso University’s physics department in 1956, serving as a professor of physics and co-chair of the department until 1966. While at Valpo, he constructed the first subcritical nuclear reactor at a regional univer- sity, which he used to train a new generation of students in reactor physics.

In 1967, Professor Bretscher began work at Argonne National Laboratory, where he remained until his retirement in 2004. Manuel spent his last years at home with Miriam, his beloved wife of 62 years. Manuel is also survived by his five children, their spouses, and seven grandchildren: Mark and Cindy (Nelson), with daughter Jennifer; John and Tammy (Ravitts), with children Luke and Elizabeth; Kathryn and Charles (Salter), with son Bret; Carl and Lisa (Lau), with children Samantha, Laura, and Nathan; and Fred.