Arthur J. Riopelle

Arthur J. Riopelle


As posted on The Advocate website.

LSU professor Arthur Riopelle dies

By Robert Stewart
Advocate staff writer
February 22, 2012

“He was a Renaissance man of enormous integrity and passion, selfless in many ways. He held science to  a very high level.” Jean Guez, daughter of Arthur J. Riopelle

Arthur J. Riopelle, a former Boyd professor of psychology and professor emeritus at LSU, died Feb. 11 at his daughter’s home in Houston, university officials said Monday.

He was 91.

Riopelle joined the LSU faculty in 1972 and became a Boyd professor, LSU’s highest teaching honor for faculty members, in 1977, a university release says.

Riopelle, who retired from LSU in 1988, was respected internationally for his work on primate learning and nutrition, the release says.

Jean Guez, Riopelle’s daughter, said he spent his last few years living with her in Houston while battling Parkinson’s disease.

Guez said her father was an advocate for science and a tireless assistant to his students.

“He was a Renaissance man of enormous integrity and passion, selfless in many ways,” said Guez, 61. “He held science to a very high level.”

Guez said her father’s body was cremated Sunday and will be buried in Cloquet, Minn., with his wife’s parents. She said there will be a memorial service in Minnesota later this week.

A Thorp, Wis., native, Riopelle graduated from the University of Wisconsin then joined the U.S. Army in 1942, the release says. Riopelle eventually returned to Wisconsin and earned his Ph.D. in experimental psychology.

Riopelle became director of the Psychology Division of the Army Medical Research Laboratory in Fort Knox, Ky., in the 1950s and worked with the Army and Air Force to send the first monkeys into space, the release says.

Riopelle became director of the Yerkes Laboratories of Primate Biology in Orange Park, Fla., in 1959, the release says. While there, he conducted psychological and biomedical research.

Riopelle became the first director of the Delta Regional Primate Research Center in Covington before joining the faculty at LSU, the release says.

Riopelle donated an endowment in the 1990s for the LSU Libraries to purchase materials for the study of psychology, the release says.

Riopelle’s family has requested that friends make contributions in his memory to the LSU Library in lieu of flowers, the release says.

Checks may be made payable to the LSU Foundation and mailed to LSU Libraries, attention Elaine Smyth, Room 295 of Middleton Library, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.


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