WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y. -- Leon I. Maissel, a resident of Wappingers Falls, died Friday, April 8. He was 85.
He was born in Capetown, South Africa, to Emily Cohen and Charles Maissel.
He is survived by his wife Raina; children Simon, Gerda and Joseph; and grandchildren Ari, Nathaniel, Julian, Jonas and Stephen.
He attended the University of Capetown and received his PhD in physics in 1956 at the Imperial College of London. He and his wife Raina immigrated to the United State in 1956 for a job opportunity at Philco just outside of Philadelphia. They moved to the Hudson Valley in 1960 to start what would become a 32-year career with IBM. His professional achievements were numerous. He was the holder of 60 patents and one of many inventors of the modern computer chip, his seminal book "The Handbook of Thin Film Technology" still is used today. He was an IEEE Fellow, and an IBM Eighth Plateau Inventor.
An ardent supporter of Israel, he was the president of Poughkeepsie B'nai Brith for several years. In his retirement, he became actively involved with The Center For Lifetime Studies at Marist College. He taught many popular courses on science and the history of technology. His passion was making science and technology more accessible to non-technical people.
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