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Dr. Rauno Lampi

August 12, 1929 ~ June 30, 2023 (age 93) 93 Years Old
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Dr. Rauno A. Lampi, 93, a long-time Westborough resident, passed away peacefully on June 30, 2023 in Leominster, Mass. surrounded by his family.

Born on August 12, 1929 in Gardner, Massachusetts, he was the son of Oiva and Olga (Tapola) Lampi. He spent his formative years in East Templeton graduating from Templeton High School before going to UMass-Amherst, where he ultimately earned a PhD for food technology in 1957. At UMass he joined the swim team, an avocation for which he had a passion and would gladly regale any listener with stories.

Having been a member of the ROTC, he joined the Air Force Reserves and was called up for two years of active duty during the Korean War. He served with the 1414th Air Base Group in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, as a base food service officer; as well as the AC&W Squadron near Knoxville, Tenn. He was discharged from active duty as a first lieutenant and from the Air Force Reserves as a captain. Again, a source of stories

His major contributions to national defense came from his 30 years at the US Army Soldier Center, better known as Natick Army Laboratories, as a senior scientist and division chief. His technical areas of focus were combat rations and combat area kitchens. The creation and development of the MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) earned him the Army's highest civilian award — Department of the Army Decoration for Exceptional Service. He was an internationally recognized pioneer and authority on the use of flexible packaging used in both the military and the United States space program. His list of publications and patents is extensive; he lectured on the topic all over the world. Many, many stories.

Born of Finnish immigrants, he bore his heritage with pride. Sisu – the Finnish concept of “integrity and guts,” stoic tenacity and hardiness characterized his life of hard work and persistence. He strove to do his absolute best in every endeavor.

Rauno is survived by his brother Allan O. Lampi of Oregon, and by his four children: Steven and his wife Terrie, of San Leandro California; Martin Lampi, of Westborough; Karin and her husband Cameron Hutt of Shrewsbury; and Eric and his wife Sally of Westborough. He also leaves his grandchildren, Christopher Lampi, Evan and Vanessa Lampi, Ryan Lampi, Heather (Hutt) and Sri Iyer, Leandra (Hutt) and Matthew Pfleger, Dr. Andrew and Stephanie Lampi, and Patrick Lampi; his great grandchildren, Laurel Pfleger and Kiran Iyer; as well as many nieces, nephews and extended family.

He is predeceased by Betty (Noponen) Lampi, “Boop,” his beloved wife of 67 years.

A private family service will be held at Pine Grove Cemetery in Westborough where his ashes will be interred in the Veterans’ Memorial Grove.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to HMEA’s Autism Resource Central.

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