Dr. Gus D. Dorough

After a long and full life, Gus Dorough died on April 13, 2020, at the age of 98. Gus was a native of California, born in Los Angeles, and a longtime Livermore resident before moving to Walnut Creek, California.

In 1944, he was in graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in chemistry, when he was drafted into the Army and eventually assigned to work on what would become the Manhattan Project. He was sent to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and then to Los Alamos, New Mexico. In 1946, he returned to UC Berkeley to complete his doctoral work. Gus left California in 1947 to teach at Washington University in St. Louis, but returned in 1954 to work at the University of California Radiation Laboratory in Livermore (later to become the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory).

Gus was head of the Chemistry Department at what by then was known as the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory when he accepted a presidential appointment as deputy director of research and technology at the Pentagon in 1971. Returning to Livermore in 1973, he resumed working at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory until his retirement in 1985.

Gus was a world traveler and lover of the arts. He was proud to have endowed a professor’s chair in chemistry at U-C Berkeley. A mentor to many throughout his professional career, his keen wit and intelligence endeared him to a large circle of friends. He enjoyed backpacking in Yosemite, tennis, and playing such games as backgammon, cribbage and bridge. He also enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, preferably with fine food and a good martini.

Gus was father to three children, Susan Fisher of Blythe, California; Lisa Giannini of Hickman, California, and Dan Dorough of Emeryville, California. He was stepfather to four children, Drake McCarthy of Oakland; Valerie McCarthy of Santa Clara, California; Maureen McCarthy of Walnut Creek, California; and Colleen Faith of Livermore. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren.

Gus was preceded in death by his wife of 38 years, Raellen Dorough, in 2008. He was also predeceased by his first wife, Maxine Dorough. Ever the scientist, Gus donated his body to the University of California, San Francisco. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.