Walter Wolf

Obituary of Walter Alan Wolf

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Dr. Walter Alan Wolf, 80, of Birdsey Road, Junius, died Friday, September 9 following a nearly 20 year battle with Parkinson's and dementia with his wife, Doris, and his daughters. Terri-Lynn Braun and Patricia Kirk, by his side. In accordance with his wishes, a celebration of his life will include a chicken barbecue and presentations by the Seneca Community Players at the Elks Club, River Road, Seneca Falls, in October. Interment will be in the family plot in Riverside Cemetery, Lanesborough, Massachusett. Dr. Wolf was born March 9, 1942 son of the late Theodore B and Tasia Richman Wolf and grew up in Merrick, Long Island. With more than 50 years of distinction in education, he received his bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University, his masters and PhD in biochemistry from Brandeis University and did post-doctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a master's degree in computer science from Rochester Institute of Technology. He was associate professor of biochemistry at Colgate University, assistant professor of biochemistry at Eisenhower College and professor of computer science and chair of the computer science department at Rochester Institute of Technology. He was the founding Dean of the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences at RIT from 1984-2012 when he was named professor emeritus. Dr. Wolf worked in association with Dr. Wendall Roelofs at Cornell University's Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva where they did groundbreaking work on insect pheromones and received the Wolf Prize for Agriculture, comparable to the Nobel prize. He enjoyed live theater and directed 10 plays for the Seneca Community Players. His direction of "Moon Over Buffalo" was the first production to receive an award from the Theater Association of New York State (TANYS). He pioneered the concept of virtual theater at RIT. He directed the reenactment of the first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls for many years and with his wife he received the Community Service Award from Seneca Falls Convention Days for "outstanding service in helping develop and maintain its historical and cultural significance." He is listed in the Who's Who Lifetime Achievement Edition. He is a former editor of the scientific journal for Sigma Xi scientific society and the author of several scientific papers. He was a member of Sigma XI scientific research honor society, the American Chemical Society, the Association for Computing Machinery and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Wolf enjoyed travel, playing racquetball, watching football on TV, reading, doing crossword puzzles and the companionship of his dogs Emma and Duke. He was a co-founder of the backpack program for Waterloo and sponsored several educational scholarships. "He was the greatest man I knew," recalled his daughter, Terri-Lynn Braun. "He had a twinkle in his eye and a witty comeback in a debate. Hours of NPR radio and the New York Times crossword puzzle in ink got him through my riding lessons, horse shows, swim practice, meets, gymnastics and ballet. He worked hard to set us on the path toward whatever we chose to get out of life and I cannot begin to express my love and admiration for him. He has touched our lives every day and his influence not only shaped and molded me but my family as well. His legacy will live on." He is survived by his wife of 58 years Doris Buckley Wolf, his daughters Terri-Lynn (Col-R Lars) Braun of Ellicott City MD and Patricia (Alexander) Kirk of Waterloo; five grandchildren: Zachery Ramirez of North Carolina, Rachel Braun of New York City, Hunter, Joshua, and Ainsley Braun of Ellicott City MD; a niece, Stacy (Alan) Wright of Kansas City MO and their four children; two nephews, Robert (Allison) Strassberg of Scarsdale, NY and their two children, and Todd Strassberg of Fort Lee, NJ and his two children, as well as scores of Central American Peace Scholars from Costa Rica and several loving caregivers. Contributions may be sent to Trevor's Gift backpack program, Suite 212, Main Street Shop Center, Waterloo, NY 13165 Condolences and remembrances may be sent to www.coegenungfuneralhome.com.
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