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 Robert Leroy Thews

Robert Leroy Thews

Minnesota, USA
Death 6 Nov 2012 (aged 73)
Burial Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, USA
Memorial ID 100339481 · View Source
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Dr. Robert Leroy Thews died November 6, 2012 in Tucson, Arizona, surrounded by his family.

Bob was born to Leroy Thews and Edith (Cowger) Thews in Blue Earth, Minnesota and grew up in Sioux City, Iowa. Immediately following an early graduation from Leeds High School, Bob enlisted as an Air Guardsman, during which time he received a four year scholarship to MIT where he ultimately received his PHD in 1968.

Following graduation from MIT, Bob did a post-doctoral year at U.C. Berkeley and a year at University of Rochester, NY. Bob began at the University of Arizona as an assistant professor in 1970. He was the associate department head for physics from 1986 to 1992, and served as interim head for a period beyond that.

He retired officially in 1995 but continued with his teaching and research activities until 2009. Bob was the principal investigator of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates, a physics bridge program between the UA and Pima Community College, until 2011, allowing many physics students from PCC to successfully transfer to the UA because of their exposure to physics education and research through the program.

As a Professor Emeritus of Physics, an author, a scholar, researcher, wine enthusiast, culinary connoisseur, musician, and golfer, Bob, with his wife, Johnnie, passionately explored and combined his varied interests in life with his love of travel. Through the world of physics they developed an international community of friends that remain today. Diverse interests fed Bob's soul and thus enriched the lives of those he knew.

Bob's fascination with wine and the technical art of winemaking was the link to his part ownership of Terra Rossa Vinyard in the 1990's and to many lasting friendships with the members of the wine and dinner group that he so enjoyed.

Until only recently, Bob relished a casual game of golf with family and friends while also appreciating the thrill of a competitive game as a member of The Saguaro Men's Golf Club.

As a budding musician, Bob recorded his first piano composition at age eight. While his educational focus shifted to physics, his love for music continued throughout his life.

Bob was predeceased by his parents, Roy and Edith Thews and his son, Douglas Thews.

Bob is survived by his wife of 39 years, Johnnie; children, Jack, Jana (Ted), James (Susan), Jene, Debra (Roderick), Jeffery (Natalie) and many loved grandchildren and great- grandchildren.

An Open House celebrating Bob's life will be held on Saturday, December 1, 2012 from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at their home. At 3:00 p.m. a toast will be made to a life well lived. Contact EAST LAWN PALMS MORTUARY for further information.

Donations may be made to: The Humane Society of Southern Arizona, 3450 N. Kelvin Blvd. or to: The Physics Department of the University of Arizona, in honor of Robert Thews, Emeritus Professor of Physics.




  • Created by: Barb
  • Added: 7 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100339481
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Robert Leroy Thews (13 Jun 1939–6 Nov 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100339481, citing East Lawn Palms Cemetery and Mortuary, Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, USA ; Maintained by Barb (contributor 46936813) .