Cover photo for William Bernard Schmidke, Jr.'s Obituary
William Bernard Schmidke, Jr. Profile Photo

William Bernard Schmidke, Jr.

March 13, 1958 — October 31, 2023

Babylon, New York

William Bernard Schmidke, Jr.

 

William Bernard Schmidke Jr. “Bill”, age 65, passed away Tuesday, October 31, 2023 at his home in Babylon, NY. Bill was born March 13, 1958 in Lombard. IL to William and Helen (Schultz) Schmidke. Growing up, Bill was an avid reader, especially enjoying Star Trek books. He loved building model rockets and collecting comic books. After graduating high school, Bill headed off to college in California, where he attended Cal-Tech (CIT) and earned his B.S. in Physics with honors. While studying at Cal-Tech, he also worked for Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, IL as a research assistant. Continuing his love of learning, he then attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked as a graduate research assistant, being a member of MARK- II and achieved his Ph.D in Theoretical Physics. Bill then ventured on to Germany, where he worked as a postdoctoral research assistant at the Max Planck Institute for physics in Munich, and spent many years being a member of the ZEUS collaboration at HERA, DESY in Hamburg, as a member of the Columbia University group. As much as Bill loved living in Hamburg, he then came home to the U.S., where he joined the Cold QCD group in the Spin physics department at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY as an associate physicist. There he used his extensive experience doing precision physics to improve RHIC polarization measurements and achieved the smallest systematics ever achieved for these measurements. As a member of the STAR Collaboration, he focused on the analysis of ultra-peripheral collisions, including the submission of two papers for publication just a month ago. Bill’s family, friends and colleagues will always remember him for his many contributions to physics, his kind heart, his great love for baseball and his appreciation of a good home baked chocolate chip cookie.

Bill is survived by his loving big sister: Lois Geffe of Mondovi WI, nephews: Donald of Mondovi WI and Michael (Christine) great nephew: Shawn, and great niece: Sarah, all of Eau Claire WI. Bill will always be lovingly treasured as our “Uncle Bill”.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents, William Schmidke Sr. and Helen (Schultz) Schmidke of Lombard, IL. They were always so proud of their son.

Our family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Bill’s many friends and colleagues throughout the world for all of their support and camaraderie over the years.

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