Dowell Edward Martz, a former teacher at Pacific Union College and Napa County supervisor for District Three, died on February 9, 2012 in Bakersfield, Calif., from complications due to Parkinson’s disease. He was 89.
Martz was born in 1923 in Glendale, Mo., one of three children of Amanda and Pearl Martz. He grew up during the Depression and joined the Army in 1942, spending most of his service years at the 142nd General Hospital in Calcutta, India. After the war, Martz graduated from Union College in Lincoln, Neb., earned an MA from Vanderbilt University in 1953, and a Ph.D. in health physics from Colorado State University in 1968.
Martz was an achiever in three professions; as a scientist, college professor and elected public official.
As a scientist, among other achievements, he designed infrared photometers used for astronomy research at Mount Wilson and Palomar Observatories. His group at Caltech published the first Northern Hemisphere infrared sky survey.
As a physics teacher for 25 years at Pacific Union College he guided hundreds of students through the complexities of matter and energy.
As a Napa County supervisor for eight years (1974-1982), he contributed wisdom to the numerous services the county provides its citizens. During his tenure, he helped foster respect for the unique Napa county natural environment and policies limiting growth and preserving agricultural lands.
After retiring from teaching, Martz returned to research in health physics. He is survived by his wife, four children, and six grandchildren.