, Salem, MA

September 18, 2013

George W. Brandenburg, 69

Salem — George W. Brandenburg, 69, of Salem, Mass., died following a brief illness, on September 14, 2013, at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass. During this time, he was surrounded by loving family and devoted friends.

George was born in Hempstead, N.Y., and was the son of Walter H. Brandenburg and Judith Ebenhack Brandenburg, both deceased. He grew up in Denver, Colo., and Wilmette, Ill.

He earned his Bachelor of Science and doctorate degrees in physics from Harvard University, and then held appointments at the Max Planck Institute in Munich, Germany, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Laboratory in Palo Alto, Calif., and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For 28 years, he served as director of the High Energy Physics Laboratory, and senior research fellow and lecturer in physics at Harvard, where he particularly enjoyed teaching and mentoring young physicists. Just prior to his retirement in 2008, he worked on the Atlas experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. He was proud and excited to have contributed to the discovery of the Higgs Boson.

In addition to his love of physics and teaching, George pursued many other interests, among them was singing in a number of different choral groups, piloting his own small airplane, skiing, traveling, and especially, sailing. Since moving from Lexington to Salem, Mass., in 2006, George became interested in maritime history, celestial navigation and Nathaniel Bowditch. He shared his knowledge and enthusiasm with groups of all ages, volunteering for the National Park Service, including aboard the Friendship of Salem. He also led interpretive programs in the public schools, lectured at the Salem Athenaeum, and was recently on the board of Historic Salem, Inc. In addition, George was a committed member of the First Church in Salem, where he was chair of the church standing committee, and played a key role in overseeing recent renovation projects.

George is survived by his wife of 48 years, Ellen Brandenburg; daughter, Anna Brandenburg of Concord, N.H.; and by son, Peter Brandenburg and his wife, Krisztina Holly of Los Angeles; and his brother, John Brandenburg, of Maple Grove, Minn.

George was blessed with a keen mind, a gentle spirit, and a generous heart. He had a family and many friends who loved him. We celebrate a life well lived.

ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 12, at 10:30 a.m., at First Church in Salem, 316 Essex Street, Salem. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to our spirit’s home, Star Island Family Retreat and Conference Center, 30 Middle St., Portsmouth, NH 03801. To sign the guest book, or for additional information, please visit