Dr. Lawrence (Larry) Melvin Epstein
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Dr. Lawrence (Larry) Melvin Epstein

(File photo)
(File photo)

Dr. Lawrence (Larry) Melvin Epstein
EPSTEIN: Dr. Lawrence (Larry) Melvin Epstein died on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. He was born on April 23, 1923. He was predeceased by his parents, Lena and Louis Epstein, his brother, Irving, his sisters, Frieda and Gladys, and his beloved wife, Masha, to whom he was married for 67 years. Larry is survived by his and Masha’s four children, Kenneth (Margaret), of Arlington, Va.; Elizabeth (Dale) Huffman, of Pittsburgh; Ralph, of Philadelphia; and Laura (Ronald) Schlatter, of Minneapolis; grandchildren Micah (Anna), Jonah (Heather), Rivka (George) Whitten, Dena, Emma, and Eli (Reed) Sherlock; and great-grandchildren Eliana, Obadiah and Ridley. One of the few remaining World War II veterans, Larry served in the U.S. Navy. He and Masha first moved the family to Pittsburgh after Larry received his doctorate in chemical engineering so that he could take a position at Mellon Institute. He moved from Mellon Institute to Westinghouse Research, where he pursued research in physical chemistry, ultimately leaving Westinghouse to join the faculty in the chemistry department at the University of Pittsburgh. Larry touched many lives running the freshman chemistry program at Pitt, where he trained and inspired many young scientists. His classes were referred to fondly by admiring students as “Laughing Larry and his Loony Lecture Series,” reflecting the sense of whimsy that infused his teaching and his life. Larry was also a gifted musician, who played the harmonica on the radio in his native New York at the age of 11, for all of his adult life played the viola in chamber music groups, sang in numerous local choirs, and was known in his later years to provide entertainment at local assisted living facilities, singing popular standards of his own youth. Larry and Masha were devoted to their four children, later welcoming their children’s spouses into the family as their own. Their home was always a place where all were sure to receive hospitality, perhaps an impromptu concert, and, not infrequently, an incidental chemistry lesson. Larry touched many lives and will be deeply missed. The family suggests contributions to Sivitz Jewish Hospice and Palliative Care, the American Chemical Society, and the Jewish Association on Aging of Pittsburgh/Weinberg Terrace. Services at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue, Shadyside on Monday, April 2, 2018, at 1 PM. Visitation one hour prior to services (12 Noon – 1 PM). Interment Homewood Cemetery.

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