Other Notable Deaths


January 22, 2009


Helped develop the microwave oven

Robert Decareau, who helped invent the processes necessary to create the microwave oven, died Sunday in Amherst, Mass., after suffering from Alzheimer's disease for the past 17 years.

Dr. Decareau worked for Raytheon after earning his doctorate in chemistry. It was there that he started working on microwave energy food applications, and he was one of the first to call himself a food scientist. His daughter, Karen Ross, said she remembered her father experimenting with a refrigerator-size prototype microwave oven in the family's basement in the 1960s.

"It was massive," she said. "You could stick a turkey in it."

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