Melvin Tobias, a long-time resident of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, passed away peacefully on November 16, 2023, at the age of 98 after a brief illness.
Mr. Tobias was born in April 1925 in Brooklyn, New York. His father was an immigrant from Mir in what is now Belarus, and his mother immigrated to the United States from Lithuania as an orphan. Mr. Tobias attended Townsend Harris High School in Manhattan while living in the rear of a candy store run by his father in Astoria, Queens, and then entered City College of New York. After graduating from college in 1944 with a degree in chemical engineering, Mr. Tobias was drafted into the Army, assigned to the Chemical Warfare Division, and stationed at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland and Manila in the Philippines. Upon discharge from the Army in 1946, Mr. Tobias entered the University of Minnesota under the GI Bill. There, he met his future wife, Hedy Geismar, a nurse and war refugee from Germany.
After obtaining his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1950, Mr. Tobias and his wife moved to Oak Ridge, where he worked at the Y-12 National Security Complex until his retirement in 1992. Mr. Tobias also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee and as an editor of the professional journal Nuclear Science and Engineering. Long interested in economics, Mr. Tobias entered the University of Tennessee at the age of 80 and obtained a Master’s Degree in economics.
Mr. Tobias is survived by daughters Carol Arenstein of Carmel, Indiana, Judy Tobias of Knoxville, Tennessee, Susan Tobias of Signal Hill, California, and son Michael Tobias of Bethesda, Maryland as well as 2 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.