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Obituaries

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Ruth Maxine Cowden of Laguna Woods; a daughter, Susan Immel of Laguna Beach, Calif.; three granddaughters; and two great-grandsons.

Sigmund J. JacobsExplosives Expert

Sigmund J. Jacobs, 93, an internationally recognized authority on explosives with the Naval Surface Warfare Center, died Feb. 25 of pneumonia at the Sunrise assisted living facility in Silver Spring.

Dr. Jacobs joined the White Oak laboratory of the warfare center, then located in Silver Spring, in the late 1940s. He held a number of positions at the weapons research facility, including technical coordinator of the program that developed the Trident missile.

His expertise was in explosives and propellants, and he helped develop an important equation that is still used to predict the results of detonations. He was one of the founders of the International Detonation Symposium, which has been held every four years since 1966.

At the time he retired in the late 1980s, he was senior research scientist at the White Oak facility. In 1998, the detonation science facility at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Indian Head was named in his honor.

Dr. Jacobs was born in Minneapolis and received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in 1933 and a master's degree in physical chemistry in 1952, both from the University of Minnesota. He received a doctorate in physics from the Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute for Experimental Physics in Amsterdam in 1953.

He was a devotee of classical music, opera and ballet and was known for entertaining family and friends with magic tricks.

His wife of 63 years, Lillian H. Jacobs, died in 2004.

Survivors include a brother and a sister.

Robert Edward VaughanInterior Official, Businessman

Robert Edward Vaughan, 79, a former Interior Department official who owned and operated businesses that rented tools and party supplies, died Feb. 23 at a hospice in Las Vegas. He had congestive heart failure.

Mr. Vaughan joined Interior in the mid-1950s and spent much of his early career there in the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He left in 1969 as deputy assistant secretary for public land management.


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