Harold “Hal” Gotoff


On January 3, Harold “Hal” Gotoff of Baltimore at 100. He was predeceased by wife Helene and brother Raymond. He remarried in 1983 to the former Marilyn Ostrow Goldberg. He had two sons, the late Alan Gotoff and Steven Gotoff; stepdaughters Wendy Ehrlich and Amy Lester; four grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Gotoff was the former director of the Physical Protection Directorate of the Chemical Systems Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground and a consultant engineer. His association with the Chemical Corps Laboratories stems from 1951, where he held major assignments in the R&D program, both offensive and defensive. Early in his career, he worked on the development of smoke generators, flame-throwers and associated equipment. He also worked on the development of chemical weaponry, protective masks, enclosures invulnerable to penetration of chemical warfare agents and decontamination systems. As chief of the test division, Gotoff directed the program to characterize the effectiveness of chemical agents in the battlefield and often lectured to government contractors and professional engineering societies on the chemical/biological (C/B) defense program. He held an international reputation in C/B defense and served as U.S. delegate to NATO. He originated technical data-exchange agreements with other nations, including Israel, France and the Republic of Korea, and was honored by them.

Contributions in his memory can be made online to: the Disabled American Veterans at: www.dav.org.

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