The James Madison University family is mourning the loss of one of its own.
"He was a colleague and a very very close friend."
Assistant Professor Don Chodrow died Thursday from injuries he suffered from a car accident. He was on his way to teach a summer class in Physics.
Professor Kevin Giovanetti and others are honoring his life.
"He would take me aside and explain ways to teach various things. He was always very clear and exceptionally gifted in that area," said Giovanetti, professor of physic and astronomy at JMU.
"He was able to teach a pretty hard upper level mechanics class that somehow put fear into the hearts of students, but in a way that they really respected him," Brian Utter, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at JMU.
"For me he looked like the godfather of the department. You know, you feel like you're challenged by his presence around you," Anca Constantin, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at JMU.
"He was extraordinary in giving advice and his depth of knowledge was incredible," Klebert Feitosa, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at JMU.
Chodrow was also a dedicated teacher. He's been teaching astronomy and physics at JMU for 32 years.
Students also regard Chodrow as a great instructor.
According to a website called 'Rate My Professor' one student wrote - "The best professor ever! Commands attention from the start and is bubbling with vitality."
Colleagues also share some of their funniest memories.
"He liked fountain pens (laughs) So we would talk a lot about fountain pens," said Costel Constantin, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at JMU.
"Don was the kind of guy that would stop you in the hallway with a joke," said Utter.
All jokes aside, Giovanetti says there was one memory that stuck out to him most.
"One thing that always made Don's eyes light up was talking about his son Phillip. He had a real joy in having a son and I guess sharing his love of science with his son," said Giovanetti.
Chodrow's family has established a scholarship fund in his name.
The family asks that no flowers be sent. Donations may be sent to Temple House of Israel, P.O. Box 1412, Staunton, VA 24402, or to the Physics Scholarship Fund, in memory of Don Chodrow, Physics Department, MSC 4502, James Madison University, 901 Carrier Drive, Harrisonburg, VA 22807.
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