Lionel Goodman, a longtime resident and active member of the community of Princeton, passed away on May 17, 2023, at the age of 96. He was an emeritus professor of physical chemistry at Rutgers University.
Lionel was born on April 23, 1927, in Far Rockaway, NY and was the son of William and Theodora Goodman. He earned his undergraduate degree from NYU, where he met his wife, Ruth Sandhouse. They married shortly after his honorable discharge from the Navy in WWII.
Lionel received his master’s degree from Cornell University and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Iowa State University. He taught at Penn State and Rutgers after post-doctoral work at Florida State University. Lionel and Ruth eventually settled in Princeton, NJ in 1966 where they raised 2 children, Steve and Debbie.
Lionel was a Guggenheim Fellow for his work on why molecules have the shape that they have, using laser spectroscopy. He received the Rutgers College Outstanding Teacher Award in 1987 and the Board of Trustees Outstanding Research Award in 1989. He has written numerous scientific papers — several of which have been referenced more than 50,000 times.
After his retirement, Lionel took an interest in photography and over the past 20 years has had several one-man shows, most recently at Plainsboro Library. He has received awards for his people-oriented photographs from prestigious institutions such as Phillips Mill, the Salmagundi Club in NYC, Perkins Art Center, and his photograph “About to Depart” hangs in the Johnson and Johnson Art Museum. He also served as Program Chairman of the Princeton Photography Club for 4 years.
Lionel is predeceased by his wife Ruth in 2015 and is survived by his dear friend and companion Susan Fox, son Steve, daughter Debbie, 5 grandchildren — Justin, Jessica, Sarah, Sydney and Joey and 2 great grandchildren — Catherine and Ruthie.
Lionel will be remembered by all who knew him as a tenacious and inquisitive person who lived life to its fullest, as well as for his love of travel and good food. We will miss his sense of humor and professorial explanations.
A celebration of his life will be held at his residence on Monday, May 29 from 3-6 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Rutgers University Foundation.
Arrangements are by the Wilson-Apple Funeral Home, Pennington.