Richard Pelletier (BS '71)

Richard Irving (Joseph) Pelletier, 65, of Livermore, passed away with cancer at his home in Livermore on Saturday, August 24, 2013. He was born to Lucian Pelletier and Jeanne Byrne on August 11, 1948 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Raised in Massachusetts by a single mom, he graduated from Arlington High School in 1966, where he excelled in Latin and insisted that he be known to his friends by his acronym, ‘Rip.’ He attended Northeastern University for two years, working to pay his way, then applied to Caltech and was one of only fourteen transfer students admitted that year. He received his BS in Mathematics from Caltech in 1971, then pursued graduate studies in Pittsburg, receiving Masters degrees in mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University and in economics at the University of Pittsburgh. He was active with the Delta Tau Delta fraternity during his years in graduate school.

After completing his education Rip taught mathematics at Carnegie Mellon and worked at the computer science department of the University of Pittsburgh until 1987 when he moved to the Bay Area and began working at Exergy as an applied mathematician. He worked there and at its successor companies until his death.

He lived initially in San Leandro and then bought his dream house, with rooms to house his library and his trains, in Livermore. Rip continued to study advanced mathematics for his entire professional life, working half time for his company so he could devote more time to his first love, mathematics. He wrote a popular math blog for many years and built a very fine technical library. He also pursued his interest in languages from ancient Greek to Chinese to Navaho, and he traveled, starting with the ruins of ancient Greece, which fascinated him.

Rip is survived by his two cats and his many good friends, from as far back as his high school and college years and also, during the past nearly 28 years, by mutual friends of Bill W.

A memorial service for Rip will be held on Saturday, October 19th, at 11:00 a.m. in the fellowship hall of the Asbury United Methodist Church, 4743 East Avenue, Livermore. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions in Rip’s memory to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California, or to Hope Hospice in Dublin, California.