The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death on June 30 of GFD Founding Director George Veronis of Hatchville, Mass., and New Haven, CT, whose career accomplishments had a focus on mathematics and geophysics. He was 93.
Born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, he was the son of Nicholas and Angeliki Veronis.
George was a professor at Yale since 1966; Department Chair from 1976-1979; head of the Applied Mathematics Program from 1979-1993; and named the Henry Barnard Davis Professor of Geophysics and Applied Science in 1985. George served in the US Navy submarine program in the Pacific during World War II. He attended Lafayette College to study mathematics, then to Brown University to get a PhD in Applied Mathematics in 1954. After his PhD, he held research positions at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, WHOI, and at MIT, before joining the Yale faculty in 1966. He was the editor of the Journal of Marine Research for 37 years, and a co-founder (in 1959) and director of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (GFD) Summer Program at WHOI, for which he shared the AGU Award for excellence in Geophysical Education in 2008. George’s many honors included being elected a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 1963; a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 1975; a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science & Letters in 1981; and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences in 1994.
The American Meteorological Society named George as the 1997 recipient of its Henry Stommel Research Award for “a wide range of fundamental contributions to the development of physical oceanography and geophysical fluid dynamics,” reported the Enterprise early that year.
He was a runner for many years and, in later years, a long-distance walker. He loved bird-watching and enjoyed spending occasional winters in Australia. He had a gift for languages and spoke fluent Greek and Swedish.
George was the husband of Anna Veronis. In addition to his wife, George leaves a daughter, Melissa Odell and her husband, Vinnie Odell, of Maryland, a son, Benjamin Veronis and his partner, Christopher Gilbert, of California; two grandchildren, Jocelyn Laracuente and Wesley Odell; three siblings, Mary Thompson, John Veronis, and Alexander Veronis; and other family.
He was predeceased by his brother Peter Veronis and sister Elinor Veronis.
Visitation was on Friday, July 5, from 11 a.m. to noon at Beecher & Bennett Funeral Home, 2300 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, Connecticut. A service celebrating his life will follow.
Interment will be private.
Information for this obituary is from the Falmouth Enterprise.