Dr. Walter Welkowitz

August 3, 1926December 19, 2012


Dr. Walter Welkowitz, 86, of Keene died Wednesday morning, December 19th, 2012 at Langdon Place of Keene following a period of declining health.

He was born in New York City on August 3, 1926, the son of Samuel and Shirley (Rosenblum) Welkowitz. He grew up in Brooklyn and was a graduate of Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn.

Dr. Welkowitz completed his undergraduate work at Cooper Union College in New York City. He interrupted his studies to enter the US Navy in 1944 during WWII serving as an electronic technician’s mate with expertise in radar and radio control on a battleship. After the war, he went on to receive his Master’s Degree and PhD in Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1954.

In 1951 he married Joan Horowitz in New York City who he met in graduate school at the University of Illinois. His wife received her Ph.D. in psychology and went on to become the first woman Full Professor of Psychology at New York University.

He taught at Columbia University for two years and then went into the private sector working for Gulton Industries as a general manager in charge of large scale engine design and production, and as assistant to the president. In 1964, he returned to teaching and was a professor at Rutgers University until 1993 when he retired and became Professor Emeritus. While at Rutgers, he served as chair of the department of electrical engineering, and later started the first biomedical engineering program in the United States.

Dr. Welkowitz was a Fellow of the National Academy of Science. He was cited as one of the top 10 inventors of the 20th century for his co-invention of the artificial heart assistance device, and had over 20 patents. Other accomplishments include the first publication on computer vision and the invention of the ultrasonic flowmeter, which lead to the widespread use of ultrasonics in industry and medicine.

He is survived by his sons Lawrence Welkowitz of Keene and David Welkowitz, and wife Sara Ehrman, of Sherman Oaks, CA; his daughter Julie Welkowitz, and husband Steven Keough, of Richmond, VT; his five grandchildren Annika Kristiansen-Welkowitz, Joshua and Shaina Keough, and William and Stacy Welkowitz; and his sister and her husband Madeline and Jerome Oelbaum of Sarasota, FL. Dr. Welkowitz's wife, Dr. Joan Welkowitz, died in 2006.

A graveside service will be held for Dr. Welkowitz on Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 1pm at the Stockbridge Cemetery in Stockbridge, MA. Fletcher Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 33 Marlboro St., Keene, NH is in charge of the arrangements

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Dr. Walter Welkowitz's name to The Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Keene State College, 229 Main St., Keene, NH 03431 or the Colonial Theater Children’s Fund, 95 Main St., #6, Keene, NH 03431.


  • Graveside Service Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dr. Walter Welkowitz

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Anne Arseneault

December 26, 2012

Dear family, I'm not sure if you remember me or not,but I was a good friend of Walter's, during his time at Bentley Commons,he was a wonderful person, I enjoyed his company during my stay there, I'm so sorry to hear of his passing,had he been ill for very long? when did he move from Bentley? I have some wonderful pictures of him from my time at Bentley, I would love to share them with you if someone would e-mail me. I will send them via e-mail. My thoughts and prayers are with you all, God Bless you, Anne