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David Llewellyn Roberts

Date of Death: March 16, 2024

Date of Birth: January 20, 1940


David Llewellyn Roberts

1940 – 2024

David Roberts died peacefully on March 16, 2024 in the presence of his family. David was born in Doctors Hospital, NY City, on January 20, 1940 to Edmund Phillip and Catherine (Cleary) Roberts. He grew up in R.D. Annandale (Cherry Hill) NJ graduating from North Hunterdon Regional High School in 1958.

David attended Bowdoin College (AB Physics ’62), falling in love with both the College and Maine. While at Bowdoin he contributed his technical expertise to the Masque and Gown and radio station, WBOR. He earned his PhD in Astronomy (’67) from Case Western Reserve University creating computer-based models for gas flow and radiation transfer in interstellar nebulae. He then moved to Canada as an Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Waterloo where he taught physics and astronomy courses. He was particularly interested in pedagogy and was proud of a Teaching Award given to him by the students in his advanced introductory physics course. An early proponent of using computers, he codesigned, set up and operated a sixteen terminal mini-computer-based system to support problem solving for physics students. He was much taken with “Limits to Growth” and wrote articles discussing solar energy as an alternative energy source.

While at Waterloo, David was Don of Men at St. Paul’s (now United) College until he married Rosemary (Bell) in 1971. They moved to Maine in 1979 where he taught briefly at Unity and Nasson Colleges. In 1983 David returned to Bowdoin College as a Teaching Associate in Physics. There he taught first year physics labs and the occasional astronomy course until he retired (emeritus).

David had many interests, a generous nature, and a fine sense of humor. He enjoyed cooking, reading, “collecting cookbooks, and building bookshelves to hold them”. He was a news “junkie” and liked to send friends articles tailored to their interests. Until recently, he perambulated with his walker locally, moving from one sunny spot to another where he read and conversed with passers-by.

David was predeceased by his parents and brother, Peter. He is survived by his wife, Rosemary; daughter, Rachael; nephew Luke and his wife Nic (Anchorage, AK); and cousins Kitty, Bo, and Cider Cleary who summer on Sheep Island, ME.

The family would like to thank the many people at Mid Coast Hospital, Winship Green and Constellation Hospice, and Horizons who cared for David since his fall last June. A memorial reception will be held at Bowdoin College in Main Lounge, Moulton Union on Thursday, May 2nd from 4-6pm. Contributions in David’s memory may be made to Bowdoin College or Curtis Memorial Library.

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