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Tom Potter, 78, U. professor, dies

University of Utah professor emeritus Dr. Tom Potter, 78, died Tuesday night, Oct. 16, 2007, following a lifetime of weather research and forecasting.

Dr. Potter joined the university in 1998 as a research professor. While there, he led the weather support project for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

His planning helped deal with transportation issues, snow removal problems, opening and closing ceremonies and volunteer coordination, according to U. Department of Meteorology Chairman Jim Steenburgh.

"Everything is magnified during the Olympics, and weather is one of those things that you work on," Steenburgh said.

Potter's prominent career also included direction of the Western Region of the National Weather Service, work as vice commander of the USAF Air Weather Service, time as an associate professor at St. Louis University and work with U.N. weather organizations based in Switzerland.

"He will definitely be missed," Steenburgh said. "There are hundreds of people here who are going to miss Tom Potter. He was probably the most liked person in all of the atmospheric sciences. ... He knows people all over the world."

In the final month of his life, Dr. Potter suffered from pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Potter's funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, in the chapel at Fort Douglas.