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Paul Wolff
NEWPORT - Paul Wolff,

pioneer in design of offshore drilling platforms died on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at Village House Nursing Home in Newport.
Paul Anthony Wolff was born July 19, 1916 in Liberty, New York. The family soon moved to Toms River, New Jersey and later to Seaside Heights.
He died at age 92 of heart failure in Newport, Rhode Island.
By age 18, Mr. Wolff declared, for a school project, that his main hobbies were hunting, fishing and shooting and that his goal in life was to attend Stevens Institute of Technology and study mechanical engineering. Mr. Wolff completed his Master of Engineering degree at SIT in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1938. Mr. Wolff then attended Harvard University and completed his Master of Science degree in 1940.
During the war years, Mr. Wolff taught at SIT and performed research for the U. S. Navy on the stability of disabled ships, in collaboration with naval architect W. Starling Burgess.
From Stevens, Mr. Wolff was recruited to work in the oil industry. He designed, with John Hayward, the worlds first mobile offshore drilling device. Mr. Wolff was then hired by Kerr-McGee in 1952 as chief engineer and moved to Oklahoma City, OK. He designed a number of revolutionary rigs for deep-water oil drilling in hostile environments like the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Some of his platforms are still in use. He held a number of patents.
After leaving Kerr-McGee in the mid-1960s, Mr. Wolff managed a sawmill in the Bahamas and mining and shipping operation in Peru. He eventually returned to Kerr-McGee as a consulting engineer.
In the mid 1950s, Marjorie Young Burgess, whom he married in Old Lyme, CT, in 1958, joined Mr. Wolff in his engineering work.
Mr. Wolff was dedicated to helping family. Mr. and Mrs. Wolff retired to Newport ten years ago. His beloved wife Marjorie died in 2005.
Two sisters, Charlotte Baumgartner of Brevard, NC, and Jean Lounsbury of San Diego, CA, seven nieces and nephews, and thirteen grandnieces and grandnephews survive Mr. Wolff.
A burial service will be held later.

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