Milton S. Gottlieb

Milton S. Gottlieb, age 87, passed away on November 11, 2020 in Wakefield, Rhode Island.  He was born on July 2, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York to Sadie (Cohen) Gottlieb and Alexander “Sam” Gottlieb.  As a child growing up in New York, he was a Boy Scout, earning the distinctions of Eagle Scout and Order of the Arrow. Milton was a graduate of Brooklyn Tech High School, the City College of New York, and the University of Pennsylvania.  During his college years he met and married (1957) Joan Eiger, who moved with him to San Diego, California, where he worked at General Dynamics Corporation while finishing his PhD in Physics.  In 1959, Milton accepted a position with the Optical Physics Section at Westinghouse Research Laboratories in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  During his long career at Westinghouse, Milton published books, book chapters and scientific journal articles, and developed over 100 patents for technologies related to acousto-optical signal processing and sensor/filter design.  After retiring from Westinghouse in the 1990’s he worked as a consultant for Rosemount Analytical / Emerson Electric Co. and at the Carnegie Mellon Research Institute, and in 2015 materials from his previous work, considered to be historically significant, were accepted into the Smithsonian Institute’s science/engineering archives.

Milton was dedicated to his wife Joan, son Erik and daughter Sara, and his community in Pittsburgh where they lived in the home they had built on Marbury Road in 1965 until 2019.  Milton’s 1974 VW Westphalia camper bus, lovingly maintained until sold to a family friend in 2013, was used for numerous camping trips each year.  Milton amassed a huge record collection of classical and opera music and enjoyed concerts at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh and was well known by neighbors for his mechanical skills and ability to fabricate custom furniture, fixtures and other household items.  He actively supported Joan’s political pursuits in Churchill Borough, where both volunteered with the Churchill Area Environmental Council, and he accompanied her on botanical field trips around the world.

Milton is survived by his wife, Joan; son Erik (Nancy Ciccone); daughter Sara (Wade Harrison); granddaughter Sadie; sister Miriam Bergman, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in memoriam be sent to: Allegheny Land Trust Churchill Valley Greenway Project; Western Pennsylvania Conservancy; or The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania or Rhode Island. For guestbook and condolences, please visit

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