SUCOV: Eugene William (Yehuda Zev) Sucov, passed away of natural causes in the early morning of April 9, first day of Pesach, in the Neve Horim Nursing Home, Jerusalem, Israel. He was 97 years old and had struggled with dementia for more than four years.
Gene was the beloved husband of Ellen Benswanger Sucov, devoted father of Joshua (Ora) Sucov, Henry (Takako) Sucov and Andrew (Heather) Sucov, and loving grandfather of Edan, Yuval, Asaf, Keenan, Hannah, Evan, Nora and Aaron. He is also survived by his dear brother Joel (Donna) Sucov, sister Selma Abrams, nieces Jamie, Hollis and Jennifer and nephew Adam and his stepchildren Lynn Benswanger, Berwyn PA and Shimon (Jim) Benswanger, Telz-Stone, Israel and eight Israeli step-grandchildren.
Gene was born in Waterbury, CT in 1922 and moved with his family to Brooklyn. His brother Henry was born in 1924 and was killed in 1945 while serving with the US forces in Europe. Gene attended Alexander Hamilton High School and graduated from Brooklyn College in 1943 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. After college, he worked in various jobs as an electrical technician and became active in the Masada section of the Zionist Organization of America, eventually becoming part of the national ZOA leadership and the national president of Masada. He married Millie Itzkowitz in 1949. They lived in Israel from 1951-53, where he worked as an electrical engineer at the Weizmann Institute. Gene and Millie returned to the US and Gene was accepted to the PhD program in physics at NYU, receiving his degree in 1958. He and Millie moved to Pittsburgh when he was offered a job as a physicist with Pittsburgh Plate Glass. In the 1960s he switched to a job with Westinghouse. During this time, he became involved with local politics and was the founding organizer and president of the 14th ward Democratic Club, which he led until 1969. A notable accomplishment during his early years at Westinghouse was his invention of the copper halide laser, which was patented in 1972. He and Millie separated in 1974 and divorced in 1979. He worked with several divisions at Westinghouse, from lasers to lighting to fusion power to inertial propulsion, being promoted up several levels along the way, ultimately to manager. He became active in Dor Hadash Reconstructionist Congregation, serving as its president 1977-1979. In 1982, he married Ellen Benswanger. He retired from Westinghouse in 1988 shortly before his 66th birthday. In retirement, he and Ellen lived alternatingly in Pittsburgh and Jerusalem for several years, then Providence and Jerusalem for four years, before moving permanently to Jerusalem in 2013.
Contributions in his memory may be made to The Jewish National Fund in Israel, the Aleph Society in New York or Dor Hadash Congregation in Pittsburgh. Or to a charity of your choice.