Orr E. Reynolds, scientist with NASA, is dead at 72Orr E...


April 27, 1991

Orr E. Reynolds, scientist with NASA, is dead at 72

Orr E. Reynolds, a Maryland scientist who had headed the Defense Department Office of Science and later directed bioscience programs at NASA, died March 30 at North Beach Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., after a fall. He was 72.

The son of a Johns Hopkins University chemistry professor, Dr. Reynolds was born in Baltimore but reared near the National Zoo in Washington. He once said that frequent visits to the zoo probably helped shape his interest in biology.

His career -- launched as a physiologist at the National Institutes of Health -- was interrupted during World War II, when he became a physiological test officer and later aviation physiology research administrator in the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. After the war, he became director of the biological sciences division of the Office of Naval Research.

Dr. Reynolds became director at the Defense Department's Office of Science in 1957. In that post, he championed the importance of basic research. He once wrote that the balance of military power in the world was not determined by the refinement of rifles but by the discovery of fundamental facts of nature -- nuclear reactions, for example.

After the Navy's Vanguard Program to launch an object into space and the Soviet's success with Sputnik, President Eisenhower looked to Dr. Reynolds for suggestions on what the United States might do. Dr. Reynolds called for a separate science-oriented agency, which later became the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

In 1962, he became director of NASA's bioscience programs. Besides seeking extraterrestrial life, he explored the effects of space, such as radiation and weightlessness, on biological systems and processes.

He was executive officer of the American Physiological Society in Bethesda from 1970 to 1985, and at his death he was senior scientific consultant for the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington and received bachelor's and master's degrees in biology from University of Maryland, where he earned a doctorate in physiology in 1946.

He moved to Fort Lauderdale from Bethesda a few months ago.

His first wife, the former Maxine Muriel Ott, died in 1970.

He is survived by his second wife, the former Marjorie Ellen Johnson; two daughters, Caroline Reynolds Gaver of Frederick County and Christi Grossman of Plantation, Fla.; and four grandchildren.

The family suggested contributions to the American Physiological Society, 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Md. 20814, or to Suburban Hospital, 8600 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, Md. 20814.

Plans for a memorial service were incomplete.

Katharine Z. Sack

Baltimore native

Services for Katharine Z. Sack, who was born and educated in Baltimore, will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Palos Verdes, Calif.

Mrs. Sack, who was 72 and lived in Palos Verdes Estates, died Monday of complications to Parkinson's disease at a hospital in Palos Verdes.

The former Catherine Roos Zimmerman was a graduate of Friends School and of Goucher College.

Mrs. Sack and her husband, Edward E. Sack, lived in several states and abroad while he was in the Navy. They settled in Palos Verdes after his retirement as a commander.

Mrs. Sack was a member of the altar guild and the choir at St. Francis Church and volunteered at the Episcopal Seaman's Center in San Pedro, Calif. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by three daughters, Helen Robles and Katharine Van Dewark, both of San Pedro, and Elizabeth Kinney of Bakersfield; a sister, Helen Z. McCausland of Glyndon; and four grandchildren.

The family suggested contributions to the American Parkinson's Society in Van Nuys, Calif.

Sister Mary Liboria

Retired sacristan

A Mass of Christian burial for Sister Mary Liboria Knappich, S.S.N.D., retired sacristan and needlework teacher at the Institute of Notre Dame, will be offered at 10 a.m. today in the chapel of Villa Assumpta, the motherhouse of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, 6401 N. Charles St.

Sister Liboria, who was 90, died Thursday of heart failure at Villa Maria, where she had lived for several months.

She retired in 1986 but remained at the Institute of Notre Dame, where she was assigned when she came to the United States in 1925.

She was born in Hohenteissenberg, Germany, the youngest of 11 children, including three brothers killed in World War I. In 1918, she entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame in Munich.

Sister Liboria is survived by a niece, Irmgard Gilbert of Lake Carmel, N.Y., and other relatives in Germany.

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