Walter Rundle Innes

Walter Rundle Innes, 72, of Sunnyvale, passed away on February 6, 2018.

Walt was born on December 29, 1945 in Stamford, Connecticut to William & Dorothy (Rundle) Innes. He grew up in Stamford and was married to Patricia Denevan Innes for fifty-one years.

Walt earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1967 and received his Ph.D. from UC San Diego in 1974. He went on to a postdoc at Fermilab, where he helped discover the upsilon meson. Walt was an experimental and instrumental high energy physicist at SLAC National Accelerator Lab for thirty-nine years and participated in many projects, including the Mark II and the B-Factory detector (Babar). Most recently, Walt was working as a particle astrophysicist on the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope project. Over the course of his career as a physicist, Walt’s work contributed to many of the most fundamental discoveries about the nature of matter.

Walt was proud of his Scottish heritage, and began bagpiping in 1986. He competed in solo piping and played in three pipe and drum bands over the course of his piping career: the Stuart Highlanders Pipe Band, the Macintosh Pipe Band, and more recently, the Silicon Valley Pipe Band. He was also an instrumental figure in the Clan Innes Society for many years.

A dedicated athlete, Walt played soccer and competed in track and field in high school and college; he set a record for pole vaulting at Caltech in 1966 that held for almost twenty years and is third highest jump at the school to this day. He was a runner for most of his life, enjoyed hiking, and took up road cycling in his last few years.

With humility, kindness, and dry wit, Walt gave generously of his time and knowledge and was respected and admired in all walks of his life.

Walt is survived by his loving family: his wife and two daughters, Janette (Tom) Catron and Katy (Ben) Mossawir and four grandchildren, Maxwell, Silas, Evan, and Ada; his brothers Robert (Elaine) Innes, Gordon Innes, and Roger (Karen) Innes; his mother-in-law, Edith Denevan, his sister-in-law Paula (Dave) Garcia, and two nieces, a nephew, and a grand nephew. He is preceded in death by his parents and sister, Sally.

A celebration of Walt’s life will be held on March 2, 2018 at 1:00 pm at the Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church, 728 West Fremont Avenue, Sunnyvale.

Donations in Walt’s memory may be made to Sunnyvale Community Services, 725 Kifer Road, Sunnyvale, CA 94086, svcommunityservices.org.