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1941 Richard S. Stolarski 2024

Richard S. Stolarski

November 22, 1941 — February 22, 2024


Please click here to view the live stream of the funeral service for Mr. Richard Stolarski. The live stream will begin promptly at 3:00pm

Richard Stanley Stolarski, 82, of Crofton MD, originally from Tacoma WA, passed away from cancer on February 22, 2024.

The son of Rose and Stan Stolarski, Richard graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 1963 with a degree in physics and from the University of Florida in 1966 with a PhD.

He was hired by the University of Michigan’s Space Physics Lab, where he and Ralph Cicerone published a groundbreaking paper in 1974 on ozone loss caused by chlorine. This study showed that chlorine could catalytically destroy ozone molecules; one chlorine atom could destroy an ozone molecule and regenerate itself leading to the loss of thousands of ozone molecules.  For this work, he was recognized in the citation for the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded to F. Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina.

In 1976, Richard joined NASA Goddard where, collaborating with talented and dedicated colleagues, he pursued his interest in the chemical composition of the atmosphere. Upon retiring from NASA in 2010, Richard became a Research Professor at Johns Hopkins University.

An avid golfer and bowler, Richard was also a prolific photographer who traveled extensively, capturing the beauty of every country he visited. The only continent he missed was Antarctica.  During COVID, with camera in hand, he and wife Shirley took many day trips in and around Maryland. He published the best of the photos in a book titled “Photography in the Time of COVID-19” shortly before his passing.

Richard’s happiest moments were spent with his family, Christmases, birthday celebrations, weddings, and beach vacations. He was overjoyed to visit granddaughter Kellen in graduate school at the University of Michigan. He was the proudest member of the audience at his grandsons’ performances, Zach on drums, Max on guitar. He basked in the love of it all.

Richard is survived by his beloved wife of 59 years, Shirley Stolarski; daughter Susan Stolarski Datta and her husband Joy of Charleston SC; son Steven Stolarski and his wife Vanessa of Purcellville VA; three grandchildren, Kellen Datta, and Zachary and Maxwell Stolarski; brother Bob Stolarski and his wife Jean of Dewey AZ; and brother-in-law Bob Jewett and his wife Janet of Loveland CO.

A Celebration of Richard’s life is scheduled for Saturday, March 16, 2:00-4:00 pm at Beall Funeral Home, 6512 Crain Hwy, Bowie MD 20176

In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (https//www,pcf,org).

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard S. Stolarski, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, March 16, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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