Daniel Leopold Obituary
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In Memory of

Daniel J. Leopold

January 25, 1954 - December 10, 2015
Obituary

Daniel Joseph Leopold, PhD 1954 - 2015 Daniel J. Leopold, a long time resident of St. Louis and a physics research professor at Washington University, passed away on December 10, 2015, at home with his family at his side after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Dan was born in Buffalo, NY on January 25, 1954 to Donald and Ruth Leopold, one of four children. His family moved to Rochester, NY where he completed high school at Fairport High school, earning their Top Science Student award. He completed his Bachelor's Degree in physics at the Rochester Institute of Technology, while working full-time as a movie theater manager and, later,...
Daniel Joseph Leopold, PhD

1954 - 2015

Daniel J. Leopold, a long time resident of St. Louis and a physics research professor at Washington University, passed away on December 10, 2015, at home with his family at his side after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Dan was born in Buffalo, NY on January 25, 1954 to Donald and Ruth Leopold, one of four children. His family moved to Rochester, NY where he completed high school at Fairport High school, earning their Top Science Student award. He completed his Bachelor's Degree in physics at the Rochester Institute of Technology, while working full-time as a movie theater manager and, later, interning at Xerox Corporation in Webster, NY. His interest in condensed matter physics, sparked at Xerox, led to a Ph.D. in Physics from Washington University, a summer at Xerox Palo Alto Center in California and a postdoctoral appointment in the Physics department of Harvard University.

While in graduate school at Washington University, Dan met and courted fellow physicist Mary F. Muldoon from Chicago; they married in 1985. Together they raised two sons, James E. Leopold and Jonathan V. Leopold.

Beginning in 1985, Dan worked in the Research Laboratory of McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Using their Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) facility, he designed, made and tested novel semiconductor materials. In 1994, he joined the Washington University department of Physics, where he set up a new MBE facility and laser lab. There he joined with Professor James Buckley in the development of new types of detectors based on Gallium-Nitride semiconductors for applications to high-energy physics and astrophysics. His recent work resulted in a discovery of the unique properties of amorphous semiconductors, and the development of new device fabrication techniques that are currently being applied to the development of very sensitive light detectors. This work has potential benefits in a number of areas of science ranging from new experiments aimed at the detection of Dark Matter to biomedical imaging. He leaves his Washington University team to complete the work of applying this transformative technology to new experiments that will help understand the nature of the cosmos and new devices that could aid in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases like cancer.

Dan was an enthusiastic amateur astronomer and amateur economist, but he was most passionate about muscle cars and drag racing. His 1992 Camaro stocker was a frequent sight at regional and national races, for which he and brother Mike would spend months of meticulous consultation and preparation to slice tenths of a second off their ¼ mile times. He single-handedly transformed the once daily-driver Camaro into a fully qualifying NHRA/IHRA stock car, compliant with all the rules and regulations that accompany that designation. He could rebuild a top and bottom end, weld a roll cage and tune an engine with little thought. He had all the tools for these jobs and more. Consequently, his garage and basement are disaster areas.

Dan is preceded in death by his Father, Donald J. Leopold, and is survived by his wife of 30 years, Mary M. Leopold (Muldoon), sons James E. Leopold and Jonathan V. Leopold (Tracey R. Leopold) of St. Louis, Mother Ruth M. Leopold, brothers Donald H. Leopold (Julie J. Leopold) of Los Angeles, Michael J. Leopold (Kimberly A. Leopold) of Indianapolis, sister Katharine A. Maysuch (Thomas M. Maysuch) of Rochester, mother-in-law Mary E. Muldoon, and thirteen much-loved nieces and nephews.

The family would like to express deep gratitude for the care of oncologist Dr. Kian Lim, and for the kindness of the Nerinx Hall community.

Visitation will be held Friday, December 18, from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Kriegshauser Mortuary, 9450 Olive Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63132. A Celebration of Life mass will be offered on Saturday, December 19, at 11:00 am, at St. Richard Catholic Church, 11223 Schuetz Road, St. Louis, MO 63146. A luncheon will follow at Orlando Gardens Event Center, 2050 Dorsett Village Plaza, Maryland Heights, MO 63043.

Dan was a faithful member of St. Richard Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to Catholic Charities of St. Louis.

"I am shocked to hear of Dan's passing. We were grad student colleagues. I always stopped by to look him up whenever I visited WU Physics. In fact I was..." Harry Ringermacher (Delanson, NY)

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Buffalo News
LEOPOLD - Daniel J. Age 61, died Thursday, December 10, 2015. Visitation 4-8 PM Friday, December 18, 2015 at KRIEGSHAUSER WEST MORTUARY. Mass...

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Rochester Democrat And Chronicle
Leopold, Daniel J. St. Louis, MO: 61, 12/10/2015. Visitation 4-8pm Fri 12/18 at Kriegshauser West Mortuary. Mass Sat. 11am St. Richard Catholic...

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Leopold, Daniel J. 61, died Thurs., Dec. 10, 2015. Visitation 4-8pm Fri 12/18/15 Kriegshauser West Mortuary. Mass Sat. 11am St. Richard Catholic...

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