Tribute

Leo Scherrer


Leo Scherrer  —  1915–2003

When CERN was young and cryogenics was a new and mysterious activity, Leo Scherrer ensured the supply of liquid nitrogen, hydrogen and helium for virtually all CERN activities. He was head of the liquefier, and the liquefier grew up with him, thanks to his problem-solving gifts. Tenacious as he was, Leo succeeded in overcoming the most tricky obstacles and in finding solutions in extremis for many colleagues.

He displayed a remarkable ambition to learn all the languages of our international organisation, attempting the language of any willing colleague. Soon he was able to get along in Swedish, Portuguese and Greek.

Leo retired in 1980, aged 65. He profited from the freedom of his retirement to travel in Asia and Africa, using any imaginable means of transport. His wife Anni, who could not always accompany him, now owns a collection of picture postcards worthy of a museum.

Leo's last years were very hard. He suffered from diabetes, he lost a foot by amputation and had to spend more than two years bedridden in a residence for retired people. His wife visited him every day. The two were inseparable.

For Leo, death was a deliverance. We wish to Anni Scherrer the strength and faith to keep her vital equilibrium, which was of such great help to Leo during his last years.

Jörg SCHMID