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Carl Rovainen

March 13, 1939 March 1, 2013
Carl Rovainen
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Obituary for Carl Rovainen

Born in Virginia, Minn., Carl had earned a BS with honors in Biology from the California Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in physiology from Harvard University. He had spent his entire academic career teaching and doing research at Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, beginning as a postdoctoral fellow on Jan. 1, 1967 and retiring as a full professor, henceforth emeritus, in April of 2001. He had been embarrassed but proud when a colleague had dubbed him “the grandfather of lamprey neurophysiology.” Some of Carl’s many avocations had included woodcarving, technical rockclimbing and spelunking, canoeing, hiking, creating suiseki, drawing cartoons, block-printing, collecting driftwood and stones (NOT “rocks”) and playing games such as chess, Go, Scrabble, Five Hundred and Hearts. He had taught himself to play MANY instruments including blades of grass, having taken lessons only for accordion and baritone horn. He had rejoiced in making music in public for the last eleven years. Carl is survived by Leslie, his wife of 46 years, sons Toivo (Courtney Kuroda), Ahti and Torsti, sisters Carol (William A. Brueske) and Virginia and many relatives in Scandinavia. At Carl’s request, no memorial service is planned. Carl had embraced life with enthusiasm and had encouraged countless friends and acquaintances to do likewise. Thank you, Carl! Arrangements under the direction of Redwood Memorial Chapel.

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