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Livio Lee Vagnini
April 26, 1917 - October 19, 2007
Livio "Lee" Vagnini, age 90, a retired forensic scientist, passed away peacefully on October 19, 2007 surrounded by his family. Born April 26, 1917 in North Bergen, New Jersey he moved to Carmel from McLean, Virginia in 1981. Lee graduated from Fordham University where he majored in chemistry and pre-medical studies. He also attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine for one year.
During World War II he was the first forensic chemist to service the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Division (CID) in Europe. For his meritorious achievements he was awarded the Bronze Star. After being honorably discharged Lee returned to Europe to head up an Identification Laboratory in France and Belgium to help identify unknown military persons who had died in Europe.
From 1948-1960 Lee was invited to serve again in the U.S. Army's CID in Frankfurt, Germany as its chief forensic chemist. During the period 1945-1960 he testified in over 250 cases as an expert witness for the Army, Air Force and other allied forces. In 1960 he returned to the United States where he served as a senior chemist for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's microbiology division.
In 1963 he joined the Central Intelligence Agency's Technical Services Division as a senior chemist in Washington, D.C. and served two tours of duty in Athens, Greece. As a retired Lt. Colonel Lee served as a past president of the Military Officers Association (MOAA), was one of the founders and a Big Sir of the Pebble Beach branch of SIRS, served on the Fort Ord Retiree Council, the CIA Retired Association, the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), Alliance Francaise, Sierra Club, and the American Scandinavian Society.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years of marriage, Daniele Vagnini; his three sons, Frank Vagnini of Fresno, Stephen Vagnini of Monterey and Eric Vagnini of Atascadero; four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Published by Monterey Herald on Oct. 24, 2007
At the time of this posting, obituary details were online here.