- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 10, 2008

FREDERICK, Md. | The Army scientist suspected in the anthrax attacks following Sept. 11 was remembered for his humor, intelligence and compassion at a memorial service Saturday.

Bruce Ivins, 62, died July 29 of an apparent suicide late last month after being informed by the FBI that charges were likely to be brought against him in connection with the 2001 attacks.

Some mourners wept when speakers at the service talked about Mr. Ivins’ hobbies, which included juggling, target shooting, practical jokes, cartoons and the weather.

Colleagues recalled a talented scientist with a probing mind who loved to debate a wide variety of subjects.

“Bruce was many a thing,” said one of his brothers, Charles Ivins, who added that he took some solace in knowing that Bruce’s “torment” had ended.

Mr. Ivins also was remembered as a devoted musician at St. John’s the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, where he played piano for 28 years and volunteered to clean up after services.

More than 250 people attended Saturday’s hour-long service.

Some people who knew Mr. Ivins have said they cannot believe the scientist who liked to work in his garden and volunteered for the American Red Cross was capable of bioterrorism that killed five people, sickened 17 and scared the nation a month after the Sept. 11 attacks.

John Barnard, who worked with Mr. Ivins at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick between 1992 and 1994, said he does not believe the government’s claims and has written to several members of Congress asking for an inquiry.

“My experience of him during that time is that he was a very loving, giving man, and this doesn’t make sense at all,” Mr. Barnard said.

Kathleen O’Connor, who met Mr. Ivins while the two volunteered for the Red Cross, also said she could not believe the claims.

“They haven’t got a real case. It’s all circumstantial,” Miss O’Connor said after the service. “There’s just no way he could do it.”

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