Ernest Plechaty, our great Patriarch and mentor, went home to the Lord on December 28, 2017, after having lived 88 robust and full years.
With his heart of gold, and life practice of generosity, the son of Ernest and Katharine Plechaty was born and raised in Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois in 1952. Upon graduation, he joined the United States Air Force, where he worked as a meteorologist predicting the weather over the Soviet Union. Weather was an important consideration at the time, for our bombers, loaded with nuclear weapons, were continuously in the air and ready to fly there. He also was the meteorologist who used his weather prediction models to brief the Air Force One pilots for then President of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower.
Ernest quickly rose to the rank of First Lieutenant. Prior to his discharge, he was offered the rank of Captain and turned it down to pursue other opportunities.
From the year 1956 through 1990, Ernie, as he was known, enjoyed a flourishing career at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a Nuclear Physicist, in particle transportation. Among Ernest’s wealth of accomplishments are that, he was a Group Leader in the T Division and known for his work developing the Monte Carlo Particle Physics codes, that had been used for the modeling of neutron and photon transport also known as TART. It was an essential to key programs at LLNL at that time and had an impact on the nuclear data community world-wide.
Ernest also made generous contribution to the Star Wars program, the Strategic Defense Initiative that committed the United States to developing the technology for a defensive system.
He also attended the annual meetings of the Cross-Section Evaluation Working Group (CSEWG) that met at Brookhaven National Laboratory. This Group looked over the national data base of nuclear cross sections, used in weapons and reactor design, and in medical, space and other applications.
In addition, Ernest was an author and contributor to several Journals, articles, and books, and revered most for the book he authored, TART.
It was not Top Secret that Ernest Plechaty had been known as one of the most brilliant men at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
At a Catholic Youth Organization dance, Ernest met the love of his life, Alice Troelsen, and they married on February 27, 1954, in Chicago.
Our loss was Heaven’s gain, and he shall be remembered fondly by this loving wife of 63 years.
Also honoring Ernest are his four sons Ronald, Mike, Kenneth, and Brian, as well as his only daughter Linda Pillard. Ernest is remembered just as fondly by his children’s respective spouses, and partners, Karen, Joyce, Patti, Amy, and Ken. Ernest is also survived by his only sister,
Having been blessed with generations of love, Ernest will be forever remembered by his grandson Danny, and his wife Lindsay. He is also being honored by his grandsons Jake, David, Justin, Christopher, and Christopher’s wife, Anna, granddaughters Danielle, and Tami, Alisha and Jessie.
The great Ernest continued to enjoy his abundance in life with his great-grandchildren, Brinn, Brooke, and Kalaia who loved him deeply.
All who came into contact with this astounding human being were blessed and who can forget that gentle laugh and good humor. He was indeed a man of nearly unrivaled Excellence and character. He may have departed from this earth, but he will never truly leave us. For he will forever be alive in our hearts and minds. Through us he will live on.