In Memoriam: Charles L. Weaver


by John C. Villforth, CHP

Charles "Chuck" Weaver, a former health physicist in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), died at his home in Kensington, Maryland, on 17 March 2005 at age 86 as a result of complications from Parkinson's disease.

Chuck joined the U.S. Army in 1940 after graduating from the University of Maine and served in the Pacific during World War II. Later in his Army career, he received a master's degree in radiobiology from the University of California at Berkeley. He maintained his radiation interest when in 1961 he was assigned by the Army to Albuquerque as radiation safety officer in the former Atomic Energy Commission's office of weapons test operations.

In 1962 he transferred from the Army to the Commissioned Corps of the USPHS and was assigned to the Division (later Bureau) of Radiological Health in Rockville, Maryland, in the program involved with radiation safety and environmental impact of nuclear facilities. He headed the Division of Environmental Radiation and was responsible for overseeing such activities as exposure assessment from nuclear fuel plants and the national reactor surveillance network, the study of reactors as a source of environmental radioactivity, and the operation of the various radiation alert networks such as the Tritium Surveillance System. Many of these programs involved the collaboration with the state radiation control programs and Chuck was supportive of the state's interests and participated directly with such states as Kentucky on radioactive disposal projects.

In 1971, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed from the environmental programs in the USPHS, Chuck and 45 staff members were assigned to EPA. There he became the director of the newly formed Division of Environmental Surveillance and Inspection.

He continued his responsibilities for overseeing these environmental radiation activities in EPA until his retirement from the government in 1977 with the rank of Captain in the USPHS. After retirement he did consulting work for Teknekron, Inc., until 1981.

Captain Weaver was known for his mentoring of younger USPHS officers and encouraging them on to a career in health physics and radiological health. He was well respected as a leader in radiation protection and was awarded the USPHS Meritorious Service Medal.

He lived in the Washington, DC, area from 1967 until his death and was a member of the St. Paul's Methodist Church in Kensington, Maryland.

He is survived by his wife Alice, whom he married in 1942, five children, and 14 grandchildren.