We send our deepest condolences to the entire Poppa family upon the death of Helmut. Helmut has been a friend to four generations of the Gruter family, and an esteemed member of the Board of Directors of the Gruter Institute for Law & Behavioral Research from1990-2013.
We all appreciate Helmut’s many contributions to his family, to friends, to science, to our own family and to the Gruter Institute. Anyone who had the pleasure of knowing Helmut, was honored to know someone with such extraordinary integrity, intelligence, calm, and generosity of spirit.
Helmut’s career in Electronic Microscopy is well known, spanning over five decades and resulting in numerous publications in professional journals as well as innovations at his labs at NASA, and IBM and Berkeley Labs. While making advances in the name of science, he always conducted himself with a rare and invaluable combination of exquisite determination and gentle manner.
Any of us who came to know Helmut personally, was a lucky person indeed. I came to know Helmut and Traudel through my grandparents, Margaret and Joachim Gruter, who considered the Poppas to be the best and most loyal of friends. A keen judge of character, Margaret very frequently expressed to us how fortunate she was to have found Helmut and Traudel and to have the privilege of being their friend. They shared countless years in each other’s company, watching their children and grandchildren grow, traveling to Gruter Institute conferences, driving to Calistoga to harvest nuts and fruit, and enjoying meals at each other’s homes.
Upon my grandmother’s death, I was extremely grateful not only for Helmut and Traudel’s friendship, but also for their continued participation as members of the Board of Directors of the Gruter Institute. Helmut and Traudel played a key role in fostering the Institute from a small start up to a renoun interdisciplinary Institute at the forefront of academic research. And their insight and institutional memory helped me to guide the direction of the Institute while keeping true to the mission of fostering interdisciplinary research and teaching designed to inform law, economics and other social sciences about the latest scientific findings about human behavior.
With deepest respect,
Monika Gruter Cheney and family
Gruter Institute friends and fellows including,
Jeanne Giaccia, Oliver Goodenough, Anula Jayasuriya ,Gerry Ohrstrom