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Obituary: UWL Professor Emeritus Dr. William Nieckarz


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University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Professor Emeritus Dr. William  “Willie” Nieckarz passed away on Feb. 4.

Dr. Jeff Bryan and Willie’s former colleagues in the Chemistry Department shared the following about him:

William “Willie” Nieckarz grew up in Chicopee, Massachusetts, earning his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University.

He served in the Army Chemical Corps from 1967 to 1969, performing research on the neutron-induced fission of lithium. He joined the chemistry faculty at UWL in 1969, quickly founding UWL’s highly successful Nuclear Medicine Technology (NMT) program and serving as its director from 1969 to 1993. Willie was very proud of the fact that the UWL NMT program has consistently ranked as one of the best in the nation, and he was unafraid to confront university administrators when he thought that our NMT students could be better served. He also was the acting director of UWL’s Radiation Center from 1969 until his 1999 retirement. Dr. Nieckarz was promoted to associate professor in 1973 and professor in 1979. He graciously returned to UWL for three years after his retirement to teach CHM 461–Nuclear Chemistry, while the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry searched for a suitable replacement (Prof. Jeff C. Bryan).

He is survived by his wife Marilyn, and two children, who are UWL alumni, Greg (1991 B.S. in chemistry) and Janet (1993 B.S. in biology).

Services are pending with Coulee Region Cremation Group, Onalaska, and will be held at a later date.

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One Response to “Obituary: UWL Professor Emeritus Dr. William Nieckarz”

  1. John Ogorzalek on April 1st, 2019 8:08 pm

    I graduated from Chicopee High School in 1957 with Bill. He went to MIT with Stanley Kulpa while I went to WPI with Raymond Rec. Bill was a great golfer in high school and helped his dad run the Palais Dor. I now live in Seal Beach, CA. Condolences to his family.

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Obituary: UWL Professor Emeritus Dr. William Nieckarz