Gunther Urban Sorger of Portola Valley, a pioneer in the development of microwave systems for air safety, died peacefully Feb. 10.
Mr. Sorger was born in Riedlingen, Germany, in 1925. In his youth he played soccer for the University of Stuttgart, scaled mountains with the Academic Ski Club, and soared over the Danube valleys in glider planes built by his glider flying club, say family members.
After earning a doctorate in physics, graduating cum laude, Mr. Sorger moved to the United States in 1954, joining Weinschel Engineering in Maryland as chief scientist, developing microwave test equipment and standards for airplane guidance systems. He also taught graduate courses in microwave measurement at George Washington University.
In 1970 he moved to California to work for the Eaton industrial company, where he founded the research and development center of the company's electronic instrumentation division in Sunnyvale. His contributions to the field included eight patents and many publications.
In 1985 he was elected a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and later won its Meritorious Achievement Award for his work.
Mr. Sorger was an avid soccer player and coached AYSO soccer leagues for many years. He was also an excellent tennis player, winning several tournaments and playing well into his 70s, family members said. He was a certified board sailor and enjoyed hiking in the Sierras.
Surviving members of his family are his wife of 54 years, Ursula, and sons Alex, Phil and Stephan.