Manfred Reichel died in Basel, Switzerland on 27 November 1984 after an extended hospitalization of eleven months.
From 1928 until his retirement in 1966, he taught at the University of Basel, where he had become its first Professor of Paleontology in 1940. Manfred Reichel was known to micropaleontologists primarily because of his analyses of the morphology of many larger foraminifera, especially the alveolinids. As an accomplished artist, he set standards for the interpretation and illustration of foraminiferal structures which are reached only very rarely. He was capable of making very fine drawings of complex structures as well as a series of models in clay, plaster, wood and wax. In addition to his work on the larger foraminifera, he was among the early workers on the planktonics, and he described smaller foraminifera from the Paleozoic of the Tethys realm.
By present standards, Manfred Reichel had a relatively small number of publications and few students, but he influenced a great many micropaleontologists who visited him in Basel. An important part of his scientific work is hidden within papers and reports by others who had visited him and sought his advice. He served on several occasions as an expert for the United Nations in Athens, Greece, where he also helped to establish a laboratory for micropaleontology.
A zoologist by vocation and training, Manfred Reichel was keenly interested in the flight mechanisms of birds, pterosaurs and bats. He had gathered together an extensive collection of wings and feathers and had even constructed a life-size model of Pterunodon. In 1924, while he was assistant to Emile Argand in his hometown of Neuchâtel, he translated Alfred Wegener's book on the origin of continents into French. All his life, and even until shortly before his death, he enjoyed discussing new ideas and new data.
Those of us who were fortunate to have known Manfred Reichel, and especially to have worked under his benevolent guidance, will remember his profound kindness and consideration for the opinions of others.
He was a man who cared for his fellow man and who felt a deep respect for the miracles and mysteries of the Creation.
Institut und Museum fur Geologie und Paläontologie
Universität Tübingen, West Germany