Motoi Kumai

Obituary of Motoi Kumai

Burnt Hills - Dr. Motoi Kumai, 92, passed away at home calmly on Sunday, March 10, 2013. He was invited from Japan to the United States as a physics professor at the University of Chicago in 1958. Since 1962, he worked for 27 years as a research physicist at U. S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, New Hampshire. He visited Greenland frequently to drill through the Greenland ice cap to a depth of 4,550 feet and obtained a continuous ice core that represented more than 120,000 years. He used electron microscopes and mass spectrometers to study the solid particles and gasses trapped in the ice and contributed to the basic understanding of climatic history and the characteristics of polar ice, snow and permafrost, providing the data required for designing the Alaska pipeline and military bases. He is survived by his wife, Mutsuko Kumai, two daughters, Keiko Ihara of Burnt Hills and Etsuko Azar of Winchendon, MA, a granddaughter, Marisa Ihara Amory of Portland ME, three grandsons, Ken Ihara of Melbourne, Australia, Samuel Azar of Washington D. C., and Zachary Azar of Boston, MA, a great grandson, Alexander Ihara, and two great granddaughters, Agatha and Elise Amory. No memorial services will be held, and his ashes will be placed in his family grave in Nagano, Japan. Arrangements are under the direction of the Glenville Funeral Home.
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