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Saturday September 30, 2017

Eric Phillip (Phil) MuntzProfessor Emeritus USC. 1934 to 2017
A scientist and an athlete, Phil Muntz died in Los Angeles on August 1, 2017 at the age of 83 from complications of a concussion and Alzheimer's. Phil was born in Hamilton, Ontario on May 18, 1934, the son of Eric Percival and Marjorie Louise Muntz (Weller). He is survived by his older sister, Madelein (Peggy) Muntz of St. Catherines. Sister, Elizabeth Davis and brother, Harold John Muntz, predeceased him. Phil is survived by his wife, Jan; their children, Eric Muntz Jr. and Sabrina Muntz Rassam; and grandchildren, Owen Muntz, Leah Rassam and Peter Rassam; niece and nephew, Patricia Davis Finn of St. Catherines and Peter Weller Davis of Hamilton. Phil attended Trinity College School, Port Hope, then the University of Toronto. While studying for his degree in Aeronautical Engineering, followed by his Masters and Doctorate in Aerophysics, Phil was a star Fullback for the U of T football team as well as earning his wings as a Flying Officer in the RCAF Reserve with the renowned 400 Squadron. His football career continued as a Halfback with the CFL teams, Calgary Stampeders (1956) and Toronto Argonauts ((1957-1960). In 1961 Phil joined the General Electric Space Sciences Laboratory in Pennsylvania and then moved in 1969 to Los Angeles as Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Southern California, going on to become Chair of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. He also held a joint appointment as Professor in the School of Medicine for his research in reduced dose mammography. He joined the Department of Astronautical Engineering in 2013, retiring in 2014. Phil gave lectures and presentations all over the world, e.g. Gottingen, Cannes, Soviet Academy of Sciences in Leningrad, Vancouver and Marseille, once flying with pilot Jan in their Cessna 310 to Europe from Los Angeles. The holder of 25 patents in fields as esoteric as rarified gas imaging and electron beam fluorescence, Phil was always a modest man and one would not know that Phil's c.v. required twenty-four pages to set out his achievements. However, among his peers his academic and scientific genius was recognized by his election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1993 and elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1994. He was also a Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. These are among the highest scientific honours awarded in the United States. In his private life among Phil's greatest delights were working out at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, enjoying time with his grandchildren and spending days with Jan, family and friends in his natural habitat, his ski chalet at Whistler, B. C., either bashing down a ski hill or walking his bear-size Malamute. The family wishes to thank the staff at Monte Cedro Courtyards for their loving care and support to Phil. A memorial service has been held in Los Angeles. If you wish, donations in his memory may be made to the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, 90089 (, or to the National Academy of Engineering (

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