In memoriam: Paul R. Chagnon, professor emeritus of physics at Notre Dame

by Michael O. Garvey

In memoriam: Paul R. Chagnon

Paul R. Chagnon, professor emeritus of physics at the University of Notre Dame, died March 22 at his home in South Bend. He was 86.

Chagnon taught physics and conducted research in nuclear physics at Notre Dame for 32 years before retiring in 1995. He published numerous articles on his research, and was admired as a stalwart of Notre Dame’s physics faculty. His teaching is honored annually at Notre Dame’s commencement ceremonies by the undergraduate Paul Chagnon Service Award.

A native of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, Chagnon was graduated from Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1950, and earned a doctoral degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1955. He taught at the University of Michigan, Northwestern University and Boston University before joining Notre Dame’s faculty in 1963.

In retirement, Chagnon was an active parishioner at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church and a frequent volunteer with the AARP Tax-Aide program, Real Services and Meals on Wheels.

Chagnon is survived by his sister-in-law, Phyllis Chagnon of Concord, Massachusetts; three nieces, three nephews and nine grand-nieces and -nephews.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday (March 30) in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.