Bertram L. Karpel Chemist, administrator


Bertram L. Karpel, who had been assistant chief of a U.S. Army laboratory dealing with gas masks, protective clothing and other defenses against chemical and biological weapons, died Feb. 10 of cancer at his home on Harden Lane in Pikesville.

Mr. Karpel, who was 68, retired in 1978 as assistant chief of the Physical Protection Division of the Chemical Systems Laboratories at the Edgewood area of the Aberdeen Proving Grounds.

He had started working for the Army on gas masks in 1944 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After wartime service in the Army, he began working at Edgewood in 1947.

He had served as U.S. technical representative to a group that established gas mask specifications for NATO.

His citations included a Meritorious Civilian Service Award for his work on improvements to the M-17 gas mask, now used by many of the U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf.

A native of Chicago, he earned a bachelor's degree in chemical )) engineering at the University of Colorado and a master's degree at the University of Maryland. He was a member of the American Chemical Society.

He is survived by his wife, the former Bernice Herbst; a daughter, Susan Karpel of Pikesville, a son, Ronald Karpel of Pikesville, a sister, Susan Greenberg of Denver; and three granddaughters.

Services for Mr. Karpel were held Feb. 11 at the Sol Levinson & Bros. funeral establishment.

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