Paul Pomeroy

On February 24, 2019, Paul Pomeroy set sail for eternity completing 87 years of scientific research, ocean voyaging, and a full family life.  He was born on August 14, 1931 to Barbara Green and William Octave Pomeroy in Portland, Maine.  He graduated from Deering High School, Portland, ME in 1949.  He received his B.S. in Geophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1953.  Following that, he served as an officer at the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories where he did research in the Arctic and North Africa.  Upon completion of his Air Force service in 1956, he began graduate studies at Lamont Observatory of Columbia University and received his Ph.D. in Seismology in l963.  His research into the possibility of distinguishing underground nuclear tests from earthquakes resulted in his being featured in a Time Magazine article.

Dr. Pomeroy joined the University of Michigan as full professor and Director of the Seismological Observatory in 1968 to implement a program for graduate students based on the new discoveries of continental drift and sea floor spreading.  He left the university in 1971 to live for a time on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico, and  to pursue his interest in ocean sailing.  Later, he joined the New York State Geological Survey.  He was appointed as an adjunct full professor at the State University of New York in 1974.  In 1976 he formed Rondout Associates, a private consulting firm, where he served as Research Seismologist and President.  In 1990 he began to serve as a member of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste.  In 1995 he was appointed Chairman of that body in Washington, D.C.

In 2004 Dr. Pomeroy closed Rondout Associates to devote his time to his twin interests: open ocean sailing and the collection and repair of antique clocks.  In 1994 he bought his beloved sailboat, Sally IV, a 36’ Cape Dory aboard which he completed five trips between his home on the Hudson River called Ice House Landing and St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

In 1954 he married Lois Burnham who survives him.  He is also survived by his five children:  Claire (Bill Robertson), Anne (Ed Seliger), Susan, Paul William, Jr. (Suzanne Fillback) and Mike (Cori Rattelman).  He has seven grandchildren:  Katy Pomeroy-Carter, Cassidy Pomeroy-Carter, Risa Pomerselig, Noah Pomerselig, Ethan Pomeroy, Atti Rattelman and Ziyan Rattelman.  He was proud of the accomplishments of his children, loved his home on the edge of the Hudson River, supported his wife in her career and lavished love on his Golden Retrievers, especially Midas.  He was equally happy pitting his courage against a stormy sea or lazing in a Caribbean harbor after an arduous ocean voyage. May his spirit sail on forever.

A Memorial Service will be held at a later date.

Copeland Funeral Home is honored to assist the family with the arrangements.  Online condolences may be left for the family of Paul by visiting


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