Paul Grunberger | Obituary | Record Eagle


July 25, 1945
June 13, 2022


Paul Joseph Grunberger passed away peacefully on June 13, 2022 at his home on Duck Lake Peninsula, after a long illness.
Paul was born on July 25, 1945 in White Plains, New York to Dr. George A. and Ruth M. Grunberger and raised in nearby Peekskill, New York. From an early age, Paul demonstrated that engineering might be his vocation as he related how total fascination with model airplanes was his love as a young child. Love of knowledge and excellence was demonstrated by his appointment as Valedictorian of Peekskill High School class.
Paul received his degree in engineering, again at the top of his class, from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1967 and then began his career in the civil space department at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). There, over nearly four decades, he made significant and highly original contributions to space and earth sciences for both well and lesser known missions. Among them, he developed processing systems for a Navy observation satellite that measured the sea surface in high precision. He contributed spread spectrum analysis for the radio communications of a satellite mission that monitored polar sea ice conditions among other objectives. And he served as lead engineer for a program studying the effects of solar radiation and environmental impacts on Earth’s upper atmosphere. His efforts served as a key ingredient in the scientific success of that program. Paul was proud of his work on the New Horizons spacecraft, which culminated in a fly by visit of Pluto in July of 2015. Recognized for his innovation, insight and breadth of knowledge, Paul was appointed to the APL Principal Professional Staff in 1998.
Paul was a man of varied tastes, strong opinions and broad interests. Possessing a deep interest in politics and as an avid student of American history, he never failed to engage with anyone over current events, the influence of past ones on them and speculation about future developments. He also had a keen interest and significant talent for following and investing in the stock market. As an enthusiastic patron of the arts with a keen ear for music, the more refined pursuits in life were not neglected. Nothing delighted Paul more than spending an afternoon artists listening to the talented young of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at Interlochen or enjoying the performances of the Traverse Symphony Orchestra.
Paul leaves behind his wife, Charlotte Knoll, whom he met in Washington DC, in 2001. Paul and Charlotte made their retirement home on Duck Lake Peninsula in 2009. Even as a true New Yorker, he came to love his life on Duck Lake in Michigan. Paul is also survived by two children, Judy Arnold, of Mountain View, California; and David (Emily) Grunberger of Placitas, New Mexico; as well as by two brothers; and three cats.
A private celebration of life will be held at their home on August 12. For those wishing, contributions can be made in Paul’s memory to the (TSO) Traverse Symphony Orchestra and the Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Published on June 24, 2022

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