homepage logo

Edward Joseph Seppi

Sep 11, 2021

1930 – 2021

Distinguished Scientist, Edward Seppi, Dies at 90

Edward Joseph Seppi died peacefully in his home in Portola Valley, California, on August 30, 2021, attended by his daughter, Cindy, and close friend Julie Tremelling.

Ed was born in Price, Utah, on December 16, 1930 to Joseph and Fortunata Seppi, both of whom had immigrated from Ruffre, Italy. He grew up in Provo, Utah, where his parents owned a small store and gas station. His father died when Ed was just 13. To help his mother and twin brothers, Ned and Ernest, who were only 5, Ed became the point person for the store, bicycling throughout Provo to make deliveries, transact business at the bank, and buy goods to resell in the store.

He attended Brigham Young University where he met Betty Rae Stowell, who became the love of his life. After graduating from Brigham Young in 1952, he went to work as a staff physicist for General Electric at the Hanford Atomic Works in Richland, Washington. While working there, he completed a master’s degree in Physics at the University of Idaho.

On August 25, 1953, he married Betty in the Salt Lake City Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1955 they became the proud parents of their son Duane.

In 1958, Ed and family moved to Pasadena, CA for him to work on a doctorate in Physics at the California Institute of Technology. While in Pasadena, their second child, Kevin, was born in 1959. After Ed received his Ph.D. in 1962 for his dissertation on nuclear-resonance, they moved to the Washington, D.C area, where he worked as Staff Physicist for the Institute for Defense Analyses.

In 1964 the family moved to Portola Valley for Ed to take a position at the new Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. He directed the development and construction of the beam switchyard and then was involved in setting up many of the pathbreaking experiments conducted at the accelerator. His children and grandchildren have fond memories of tours of the accelerator and stories of the experiments there, which led to a greater understanding of our subatomic-level world.

In 1968 they welcomed their third child, Cynthia, to their family. Since Ed was from a family of all boys and they had two sons, they were especially happy to add a daughter to their family.

In 1977 Ed took a position at Varian Associates where his work for the next 35 years focused on medical imaging. His achievements include developing and producing the world’s first whole-body three-second CT scanner (1991), assisting in heart scans on an early heart transplant patient, and developing a CT Scanner using mega-volt radiation used in cancer therapy. He holds more than 60 patents in medical instrumentation (1975-2020).

Ed retired in 2012 at the age of 82 in order to spend more time with his wife. Following Betty’s death in 2015, he resumed his imaging research from his home.

In addition to his career achievements, Ed was a devoted husband and father, known as “Mr. Fix It” by his wife due to his numerous clever solutions to household problems. His children were involved with him in many home projects including digging out a basement, repairing and repainting cars, and painting the house. He was an active member of his congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He particularly enjoyed working with the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and doing research in family history.

He is survived by his two brothers, Ned (Patricia) of Findlay, OH, and Ernest (Elaine) of Modesto, CA; his three children, 15 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren: Son Duane (Christine) of Pittsburgh, PA, their children Ruth Hamilton (Alan), Margaret Smith (Colt), Scott, and Jonathan (Karina) and their grandchildren Eliana, Matteo, and Lilia Hamilton; Aurora Smith; and Penelope and Muriel Seppi. Son Kevin (Lisa) of Cedar Hills, UT, their children Greg (Mette), Kendall Morrison (Eric), Jeremy (Camila), Nicholas (MaKenzie Reher), Mia, and Megan and their grandchildren Cyrus and Clara Seppi and Ethan and Sophie Morrison. Daughter Cynthia Hamilton (Reid) of Highlands Ranch, CO, their children Trenton (Ashlyn), Chad (Rachel), Grant (Rebecca), Spencer, and Paige, and their grandchildren Arden and Etta Hamilton. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Betty (1932-2015); granddaughter Jenna (1996) and great-grandson Benjamin (2017).

Memorial Services will be held on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, at 10 am at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1105 Valparaiso Avenue, Menlo Park, CA, and on Saturday, September 18, 2021, at 1 pm at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3396 N 900 W, Pleasant Grove, UT.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Edward and Betty Seppi Endowed Fund at Brigham Young University. This scholarship was established to encourage and support exemplary learning, teaching, mentoring, and innovation within the college of Physical and Mathematical Sciences at BYU.


Or via check to Brigham Young University, Philanthropies Department, Attn: Ken Craig (Edward and Betty Seppi Endowed Fund), 1450 N. University Ave., Provo, UT 84604.