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Richard E. Pentoney Dies in Singapore


SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Former Syracuse resident and retired vice president for the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) Richard E. Pentoney died February 12 in Singapore of cardiac arrest.

He was 75.

A native of Riverside, CA, who graduated from the University of California, Pentoney and his wife, the former Helen E. Hawks, came to Syracuse in the early 1950s. He earned his master's degree in 1952 and doctoral degree in 1956 from ESF before joining the College faculty as an instructor. As a faculty member and researcher, he was a specialist in plastic and elastic properties of wood, and the non-destructive testing of wood and polymers.

He served as the College research coordinator from 1966 to 1967 and associate dean of physical sciences and research from 1967 to 1970. He was named vice president for research and governmental relations in 1970. In 1973, as vice president for program affairs, his responsibilities were expanded to include academic program concerns. He retired in 1979.

Pentoney was associated with several watershed events in the College's history, including the development of the Philippines College of Forestry and ESF's 1972 rechartering.

Pentoney was a veteran of World War II, serving as a meteorology instructor, and later as a stabilization board gunnery officer at Alamogordo, NM. He earned the rank of first lieutenant and was honorably discharged in 1946.

Following his retirement from ESF and for the next 19 years, Pentoney, his wife, and their daughter, Valerie, traveled the world on their 35-foot sailing yacht, Heron.

From Portsmouth, NH, they sailed to Ft. Pierce, FL, and across the Atlantic. They spent several years visiting England, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Turkey, staying with local families and making friends among other members of the sailing community. Several years ago they sailed through the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean and on to Borneo, Southeast Asia, China, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

In addition to his wife, Helen, and daughter, Valerie, Pentoney is survived by two sons, Kurt H., of Fairport, NY, and Grant H., of Watertown, NY, and five grandchildren.

Contributions may be made to a charity of donor's choice or to the American Cancer Society.