Word has been received that Edward Isamu Shibata died November 23 at Atria Woodbriar Park in Falmouth, due to complications related to progressive supranuclear palsy. He was 77.
Dr. Shibata, a third-generation Japanese or sansei, was born in Gallup, New Mexico, the son of Edward L. and Toshie (Jean) Shibata. Following his graduation from Gallup High School in 1960, he entered Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received both his bachelor's degree in 1964 and his doctorate in 1970.
After completing a two-year post-doctoral position at Northeastern University, he moved to Indiana to join the faculty of the Purdue University physics department. There, he served as a professor of high energy physics and as associate department head. While at Purdue, he met Frances Hatch, whom he married. Together, in West Lafayette, they made their home, which they restored and shared.
Dr. Shibata’s achievements include his research in experimental elementary particle physics, most notably the High-Resolution Spectrometer experiment at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Laboratory during the 1980s. Later, from 1994 to 1995, he was privileged to spend a year at the Japanese High Energy Physics Laboratory, Ko Enerugi Kasokuki Kenki Kiko in Tsukuba, Japan. During his tenure at Purdue, he brought the same thoroughness and dedication demonstrated in his research to his administrative responsibilities and teaching duties. His proudest academic honor was the opportunity to be a mentor to his many doctoral students.
When the couple moved to Cape Cod, Dr. Shibata’s interest in family history, which he began to develop in the early 1980s, replaced physics as his primary focus, and he became an active member of the Falmouth Genealogical Society.
In addition to his wife, he leaves two brothers, David L. Shibata of Bloomington, Minnesota, and Rick T. Shibata of Richmond, California; a nephew, Jason T. Shibata of Los Angeles, California; a niece, Juliane B. Hecker of Northfield, Minnesota; and other extended family.
A service in his memory will be held on Wednesday, January 15, at 2 PM at John Wesley United Methodist Church, 270 Gifford Street in Falmouth.
Burial will be later in Gallup, New Mexico.