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Peter L. Sachs

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death of retiree Peter L. Sachs on August 22 in Newport, Rhode Island.  He was 91.

He was pre-deceased by Brona B. Sachs, his wife of 52 years. She died in 2012.

A decorated World War II veteran, he earned a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. He was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division with two combat jumps. After the war, he worked as a civilian for the US Department of War in Berlin, Germany.

Pete began working at WHOI in 1961 as a geology assistant. He was recognized for inventing a scientific instrument called the nephelometer, which measures the size and concentration of particles suspended in a liquid or gas. He retired in 1988.

Pete was frequently seen working aboard one of his boats in Woods Hole, or motoring under the drawbridge after an early morning of pulling lobster traps. He also was an accomplished sailor and scuba diver. He operated BBS Associates, a company that performed search and recovery missions on shipwrecks along the New England coast and beyond.

Along with his wife, he was an avid skier. The couple spent many winters skiing in Big Sky, Montana, and in Laconia, New Hampshire.

He leaves a sister, Maria Sachs; a brother, Rainer Sachs; two daughters, Monica Sachs Craig and Deborah Sachs Kaseta; and four grandchildren, Kyle Kaseta, Shane Kaseta, Leah Craig, and Gavin Craig.

A service with military honors is planned for Friday, September 2, at Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne, Mass. Guests are invited to join the processional at 10:50 a.m., for the 11:00 a.m., service. A celebration of his life will follow at the family’s home in Cataumet, Mass.

Peter L. Sachs