Martin Fogel

Martin M. Fogel, Ph.D., 98, died Jan. 6, 2019.

Mr. Fogel was born in the Bronx, his father a Polish Catholic tailor, his mother a Russian Jew. Upon graduation from James Monroe High School, Mr. Fogel moved to California, where his father had sought a better livelihood as a result of the Great Depression. With an ambition to become a professional baseball player, Mr. Fogel was affiliated with a minor league team in Los Angeles, where his frequent throwing partner was a little-known Jackie Robinson. Mr. Fogel began a pre-engineering program at UCLA, but with the attack on Pearl Harbor, he joined the Army Air Corps and was sent to Yale to learn aircraft engineering. He worked as an aircraft engineer during the war and remained an inactive Army reservist for 40 years, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. After the war, he finished his undergraduate and master’s engineering degrees at the University of Minnesota. He married his first wife and mother of four of his children, Martin Jr., Illysa, Jacquelyn and William and worked in South Dakota as an agricultural extension agent. He moved to the University of Nevada/Reno as an agricultural agent, then to Colorado State University where he spent two years doing graduate studies. Mr. Fogel then joined Aramco Oil Company in Saudi Arabia and spent four years as an engineer in the oil fields. He came to Arizona in 1965, earning a Ph.D. in hydrology and joining the University of Arizona in the department of watershed management in the School of Renewable Natural Resources, where he stayed until his retirement in 2003. In Tucson, Mr. Fogel met his second wife, who had two sons from a previous marriage, Lan (deceased) and Fritz. They had a daughter, Lauren.

As a UA professor, he mentored Dr. Abdul Barr Al-Gain, a graduate student from Saudi Arabia who would become the first president of MEPA, the Kingdom’s environmental protection agency. This friendship led to the landmark “Saudi Project,” a UA partnership with King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah that established an Arizona presence in the desert for many years. In Jeddah, Mr. Fogel met Tess and they married in the Philippines in 1993, returning to Saudi Arabia for several years and then settling back in Tucson. They adopted Axel R. Fogel, a youngster they had met in Saudi Arabia. After retirement, Mr. Fogel volunteered actively on the Tucson Citizen’s Advisory Water Board.

A memorial service was held at Evergreen Mortuary.