In Memoriam: Stanley Waligora, Jr., CHP


by Nels Johnson, CHP, Bob Schoenfelder, CHP, Rick Haaker, CHP, and Mike Bradshaw

A 51-year member of the Health Physics Society, Stanley J. (Stan) Waligora, Jr., passed away on 28 October 2014 at his home in Bernalillo, New Mexico. He was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, on 11 September 1937. Working his way through school, Stan earned a degree in physics from Sienna College in 1959 and learned his exemplary writing skills while completing his education at this liberal arts Catholic college. He worked throughout his career in the areas of health physics and industrial hygiene until his death at age 77.

Following college, Stan enlisted in the Army, attained the rank of first lieutenant, and taught at the Nuclear Weapons School at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he coauthored many training manuals and developed films dealing with radiation detection and biological effects. He was honorably discharged from the Army and then worked at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) for Reynolds Electrical and Engineering Co. and the U.S. Public Health Service. His duties at NTS included environmental monitoring, whole-body counting, radiochemical analysis, and field support during nuclear tests. From 1967 to 1972 Stan was chief of health physics and industrial hygiene at the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute.

In 1972 Stan was recruited by Eberline Services to open a new radiochemistry, dosimetry, and instrument-repair facility in Columbia, South Carolina. He worked for Eberline until 1989, providing senior-level technical direction in areas of external dosimetry, radiochemistry, and environmental monitoring. Stan also provided consulting services to many uranium mills and developed a radiation-safety course that was taught to more than 200 radiation safety officers at uranium-processing facilities.

In 1990 Stan founded a new company, Environmental Dimensions Inc. (EDi), where he worked until his death. Stan was involved in many major EDi contracts, including assignments at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. He may be best remembered for his long tenure at the Department of Energy's Fernald facility, where he performed extensive dose and risk assessments. He also was a member of numerous management review committees at Fernald, including the Safety Review Committee, Engineering Design Review Board, and Management Assessment Team, and he chaired the ALARA Committee. Late in his career, he testified as an expert witness on a number of radiation litigation cases.

In addition to his active employment in health physics, Stan served on American National Standards Institute committees for preparing standards on internal and external radiation dosimetry and on the Environmental Protection Agency Safe Drinking Water Act. He earned certification by the American Board of Health Physics and served as chairman of the Part I examination panel from 1993 to 1996.

In 1962 Stan married his first wife, Annie, and began a family that soon expanded to include three sons: Stanley J., Steven, and David. When his wife passed away in 1976, Stan dedicated himself to two full-time jobs: his career and his role as sole supporter of his family. He excelled at both.

When Stan remarried, he began a second family when his sons Joe and Mark were born. He continued his role as dedicated father to all five boys, ensuring that they all were loved, educated, and cared for. Stan enjoyed jazz music, get-togethers with friends on Friday nights, and stylish cars, especially if they were fast.

Stan leaves a threefold legacy. First, with approximately 70 employees, EDi continues to provide professional and technician services to a wide range of federal agencies and industrial clients. Second, Stan was a guiding example of professionalism to many young and less-experienced health physicists, always willing to share his technical knowledge with everyone. Third, and most important to Stan, he was a dedicated and loving father who is survived by four sons: Steve, David, Joe, and Mark. All of Stan's sons are self-sufficient individuals with good educations and solid work ethics, just like Stan, which, in the end, is the real measure of a great man.