Give to the Dr. karsten Pohl Scholarship Fund

Memorial gifts can be made to:
The Dr. Karsten Pohl Scholarship Fund 
c/o The University of New Hampshire Foundation, Inc.
9 Edgewood Road,
Durham, NH 03824


Dr. Karsten Pohl beloved husband, father, brother, son, uncle, professor, and friend to everyone he met, died suddenly on October 13, 2021. He was 59.

Karsten was born in Bielefeld, Germany on May 25,1962 to Karl-Heinz and Ingeborg Pohl. On May 19, 1991 he married JoAnn Adinolfi, the love of his life, whom he met in 1987 on the Staten Island Ferry. Karsten studied at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich and received his PhD in Physics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997.

In 2000, he joined the faculty of the University of New Hampshire Department of Physics. This accomplishment was a dream come true and Karsten treated this position with the utmost care, respect and responsibility it deserved. He took great pride in supporting and mentoring his students on their successful paths to higher education in all fields especially physics. He served as chair of the department for five years.

Karsten had a brilliant mind: give him a problem and he could solve it, give him a broken toaster, bicycle or computer and he could fix it. He took pride in renovating his family home with his late father-in-law, James Adinolfi, and treasured the carpentry skills he acquired from him.

Karsten was a man of the utmost honesty and integrity. He knew how to live well. He saw the good in all. He had a dry and quick sense of humor and exuberant love of life. He was a provider who loved his family above anything else.  If you needed Karsten, he was there.  He always was ready to hop on a plane or in a car to get to those who needed him.  Karsten always went the extra mile; no distance was too far to visit a friend or family member; no occasion was too small to celebrate. He never forgot a birthday or an anniversary and joyfully organized events for students and faculty of the physics department. He loved his job and joyfully attended each and every open house at the university to introduce new students to the wonderful world of physics, his world.

Every Sunday morning the table was set, the coffee ground, music played and the family gathered to eat. He could cook a perfect egg.  He knew how to keep families and friends together over long distances of time and space. Karsten was handsome, loved to travel, hike in the Alps, drink wine in Italy and Ouzu in Greece, smoke cigars in the Caribbean, and kayak in the Florida Everglades. He was an avid fan of his beloved hometown soccer team, Arminia Bielefeld, and most of all, where there was beer, Karsten was joyfully found.  
He was good through and through and his goodness was contagious.  In the case of Karsten Pohl, the saying was indeed true that there was not a bad bone in his body. His greatest pride was being Hans and Gemma’s father.  His greatest pleasure was spending time with his family. He organized party games, hid Easter eggs, baked cakes for birthdays, and German specialties for Christmas.  He even made jam from the grapes and berries his wife grew in their backyard and lovingly presented her with a bouquet of peonies, her favorite flower, each year without fail on their wedding anniversary.

He will be profoundly missed by his wife of 30 years, JoAnn, his daughter, Gemma and son, Hans, parents Karl-Heinz and Ingeborg, sister, Sabine, and brother-in-law Gianpiero, niece and nephew, Marta and Enrico, mother-in-law, Josephine, brother and sister-in-law in law, James and Mary and niece, Gabrielle, and sister and brother-in-law Donna and Douglas. He leaves behind an international group of friends and colleagues in the thousands, who mourn the loss of the man who touched their lives with boundless generosity and good will.
The Adinolfi-Pohl family has established the Dr. Karsten Pohl Scholarship Fund at the University of New Hampshire as a memorial tribute.

Eulogy for my husband, Karsten Pohl


"Why are things as they are and not otherwise," asked Johannes Kepler, the

German astronomer and mathematician.

I have been asking myself this same question repeatedly.


When I met Karsten, I had no idea what a physicist does, and even now, I

must honesty claim that I possess only the slightest clue.

I only knew that I loved Karsten.


I loved Karsten because he exuded goodness and kindness combined with

high intelligence, a generous dash of mischief and a zest for adventure. We

met on a warm, starry evening aboard the Staten Island Ferry on March 6,

1987, with the sparkling Manhattan skyline as the backdrop.


I loved Karsten because even though we had just met, he found it a brilliant

idea to invite me to travel with him across the country. We drove in a car, a

drive away it was called, a convertible, which we needed to deliver to

Washington State. Would this be our life together top-down, the wind

blowing, scattering our hair, following the sun, gazing at stars? The answer

was yes.


I loved Karsten because he was handsome, wore Levi jeans and rode a

Yamaha motorcycle. I held on tight as we braved the speed limitless

autobahn into the peace and beauty of the Bavarian Alps. As the motorcycle

and we hugged the curving road, the towering trees stretched and blurred

into the carpet of stars strewn upon a dark and endless sky. We are stardust.

We were free to become anything we wanted, to take any form we wished.

We chose to be together. Then we became a family.


Karsten led us along many trails over many years. This past summer, we

took our last hikes as a family through the high peaks of the Stubaital in

Austria. We relaxed by rushing waterfalls. The children plunged into icy

cold pools of glacial water. In the evenings, we spied the shooting stars. We

are stardust. We are together. How could we not be?


"Why are things as they are and not otherwise?"


I loved Karsten because he salsa danced with me even though he did not like

it as much as I did. I made him look good.


I loved Karsten because he fixed my computer, made me laugh, encouraged

me to pursue my passions, held my hand while giving birth to Hans and

Gemma. He brought me peonies on our anniversary, chose excellent wines,

planned beautiful family vacations, and was a great Papa to our beautiful




Over the past weeks, we received many sympathy cards. One, in particular,

came from an acquaintance we had not seen for a very long time. He wrote,

"I remember Karsten as a happy guy, and that was because of you, JoAnn."


Karsten gave us happiness, a happy life. I often thanked him for this gift. I

was relieved to hear, to conceive that I, we, in turn, had also given him this

greatest of blessings, happiness, a happy life.


Karsten Pohl was a happy man.


We, the sun, Earth and the stars under which Karsten and I, Hans and

Gemma, lived our happy life together have numbered days.

Just one more day!


There would have never been enough days to spend with Karsten.


"In the end, a man or woman's life is like the shadow of a flying bird, even if

you lived a thousand years, at the end, it would seem but one day."


We will remember Karsten's life as the most beautiful of days.



James Salvatore Adinolfi, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend to everyone he met, died peacefully on May 3, 2020 at his home on Staten Island. He was 87. 

James was born on September 25, 1932 to Annette and Amello Adinolfi.  He served his nation proudly as a member of the United States Navy during the Korean War. On May 7, 1955 he married Josephine Tallarido, whom he adored and always described as the most beautiful woman in the room. James worked as a skilled draftsman and engineer for M.H. Dietrich, Nichols Engineering and I.T. Corporation. He retired at the age of 65. 


James had a brilliant and creative mind; give him a problem and he could solve it.  He was a master carpenter who transformed all of his children’s fixer uppers into beautiful jewel boxes.  He took pride in his garden and loved his wife’s excellent Italian cooking. He declared that every meal she made was the best he had ever eaten.


James was a man of honesty and integrity.  He had a great sense of humor and love of life. He was a provider who loved his family above anything else.  He was handsome and a gifted conversationalist. His greatest pride was being Hans, Gemma and Gabrielle’s Poppy. His greatest pleasure was spending time with his grandchildren fishing, laughing, building fences for secret gardens, organizing party games or sitting together watching Jeopardy. 


He will be profoundly missed by his wife of almost 65 years, Josephine, his daughter Donna Marie and husband, Doug, daughter JoAnn and husband, Karsten, (deceased 2021), his son James and wife, Mary, his three grandchildren, brothers, Emil and Benjamin and sister, Ann, extended family and dear friends.  His sister, Rosemarie, predeceased him.