Obituaries
— GS Class of 1977

Jan, 2022

Ruth H. Pater ’77 PhD, of Bethesda; formerly of Yorktown, Va.,  and Windsor, Conn.; June 27. She taught undergraduate chemistry at Southeastern Massachusetts University and did postdoctoral work at Brown before entering the private sector as a chemist at United Technologies Research Center in Hartford, Conn. In 1980, she joined NASA as a senior polymer scientist, first at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, and then at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., where she worked until her retirement in 2013. During her tenure with NASA she achieved global recognition and in 1981 the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering chose a paper she had coauthored on epoxy resins as its paper of the year. She was the recipient of numerous awards, including the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, the 2005 NASA Commercial Invention of the Year Award, and a Floyd L. Thompson Fellowship to conduct research at the Tokyo Institute of Technology for a year. In addition she held more than 20 U.S. and foreign patents. She enjoyed gardening, cooking, hiking in Shenandoah National Park, and listening to opera. She is survived by three daughters, seven grandchildren, a sister, and two brothers. 

Nov, 2021

Thomas Souza ’77 MAT, of Norwood, Mass.; May 18. He was fortunate to have traveled the world through his many years of work as a travel executive but enjoyed being on the deck of his house on Cape Cod the best. He is survived by two children, a sister and brother-in-law, and three brothers and sisters-in-law.

Nov, 2021

Lois Palken Rudnick ’77 PhD, of Santa Fe, N.Mex.; June 6, of multiple myeloma. A graduate of both Brown and Tufts, she taught at UMass Boston and chaired its American studies program for 25 years. She had a fierce drive to build a more equitable society through teaching, advocacy, and activism. She was a believer in the power of people to make it in this country and do better, and while teaching a class on immigration issues, she took her class on a field trip to the Statue of Liberty to help students visualize the feeling of entering a new world. Past students remember her singing and dressing up to teach. After moving to New Mexico, she immersed herself in the culture and became a driving force of Interfaith Coalition for Public Education in Santa Fe. She was fascinated by Mabel Dodge Luhan and authored several books, including The Suppressed Memoirs of Mabel Dodge Luhan. In addition to being a community activist, an author, and a teacher, she in recent years began channeling the spirited power of Wonder Woman, including wearing a Wonder Woman bracelet and robe. She continually pushed to empower others. She is survived by her husband, Steven; daughter Deborah Rudnick ’94; a granddaughter; a sister and brother-in-law; and a brother and sister-in-law.

Aug, 2021

Robert J. Brinkmann ’77 AM, of Easton, Md.; Feb. 12. He graduated from Loyola Law School, Loyola Marymount University in 1980, and practiced law. He is survived by his wife, Lisa; three children; and three sisters.

Apr, 2021

Aida M. Botelho ’77 AM, of Fall River, Mass.; Nov. 6. She taught in the Providence school system for 36 years and dedicated her life to caring for her parents and siblings. She is survived by a sister and many cousins. 

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