Cover photo for Edward Conrad Reifenstein, III's Obituary
Edward Conrad Reifenstein, III Profile Photo
1937 Ted 2023

Edward Conrad Reifenstein, III

June 29, 1937 — June 22, 2023

Acton, Massachusetts

Edward Conrad Reifenstein, III, ”Ted”, 85, died on June 22, 2023 at his apartment in Acton, Massachusetts after a year of declining health. Ted was born in Syracuse NY to Dr. Edward Conrad Reifenstein Jr. and Esther Tilden Reifenstein (later Bush). He spent his childhood in Newton, MA, Oklahoma City, OK and New Rochelle, NY. As an undergraduate at Williams College, he worked on the humor magazine, the Purple Cow, contributing cartoons and cover art. During his summer jobs, he had the opportunity to use early computer equipment, which set him on a path in science and technology.

After graduating, Ted proceeded to MIT, where he joined the new field of radio astronomy. After receiving his Ph.D., he did post-doctoral research at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Greenbank, WV, where he was instrumental in the discovery of the pulsar in the Crab Nebula. After his post-doc, Ted joined Environmental Research and Technology, a scientific consulting firm established by colleagues from MIT. Later his interest in technology led him to the growing computer industry and he worked for several small software companies, ultimately landing with Agfa Compugraphic. Here he worked as a software engineer in the digital photography group and in the patent office, retiring in 1999.

Ted met his wife Nancy in San Francisco, a place that was always special to him. After they were married, they settled in Harvard, MA. Later Ted lived in Cambridge, MA, renovating a Victorian home near Harvard Square. His last years were spent at Nagog Woods and Robbins Brook, both in Acton. Ted was a life-long musician, playing and performing Dixieland jazz on both piano and cornet. Many impromptu evenings were spent with his grandchildren playing old standards.

Ted was an avid canoeist and backpacker, leading and participating in trips throughout the country. These trips were opportunities for him to indulge in his passion for photography.

Ted is survived by his ex-wife, Nancy Willmonton Reifenstein of Harvard, MA, his son Ned Reifenstein of Berkeley, CA and his three grandsons Sam, Nicholas and Peter Reifenstein, also of Berkeley. His sister Susan Beyers lives with her extended family in Simi Valley, CA.

At the request of the family, Ted's services will be held privately at Woodlawn Cemetery, Syracuse, NY in the Spring of 2024.

Arrangements under the care of Badger Funeral Home, 347 King Street, Littleton, MA 01460 (978)-486-3709,


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