Herbert Tomatsu Ueda passed peacefully on June 13th, 2020, at Sullivan County Healthcare, whose team took great care of him.
Herb was born to Sadaichiro and Tomeno Ueda on April 17, 1929, in Puyallup, WA, on a farm without running water or electricity. During World War II, his family was interned along with thousands of other Japanese Americans nationwide. After the war, he labored on farms and served in the Army in Germany. He married Patricia Ruud in Chicago in 1953. Through the GI bill, while working full-time to support a growing family, he earned a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Illinois. Upon graduation, he joined the Snow, Ice and Permafrost Research Establishment (SIPRE) designing and developing unique deep ice-coring drills. In 1961, SIPRE became the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), and relocated to a new facility in Hanover, NH. In the 1960s Herb’s CRREL team drilled though several thousand feet of ice at Camp Century, Greenland and Byrd Station, Antarctica. It was a landmark scientific achievement, allowing 120,000 years of climatic history to be studied for the first time. Herb’s contributions to deep ice research were recognized with Army Corps and Civilian Service awards and an Antarctic glacier bearing his name. He remained lifelong friends with the CRREL team and an international network of scientists.
In work and life Herb was inquisitive and persistent, a natural born problem solver who could fix anything. He embraced mental and physical challenges and tough conditions. Herb spent his later years consulting, traveling, and tinkering. He loved to walk the dog on especially cold days. He suffered the loss of his daughter Robin and wife Pat with quiet grace. Herb’s life was full of adventure and important work, surrounded by a loving family, dear friends, and good neighbors. May he rest in peace, reunited with Pat, Chris, and Eleanor.
Herb is survived by one of seven siblings, Kiyo Hiatt, his children, Bruce, Holly, and Herb Jr., five grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.
Herb’s life will be celebrated at a time and place to be announced.
The Stringer Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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