On 10 December 1998, William Mesrobian passed away at the age of 55 in Framington, Massachusetts. Born in Syracuse, New York he received his undergraduate degree from Syracuse University and a master's degree in astronomy from Wesleyan University, with a thesis entitled "A Study of the Astrometric Binary System Ross 614AB." This and most of his other publications, including eight lists of stellar parallaxes, appeared in the Astronomical Journal.
All Posts by Crystal M. Tinch
Harrison Shepler Mendenhall, emeritus professor of mathematics at Oklahoma State University, died Monday, March 20, 2000, in Stillwater, Oklahoma, at the age of 97.
Dr. Billy McCormac died on September 13, 1999 at age 79. His many friends and colleagues will remember him for the legendary International Institutes on Space Plasma Physics, which he organized and directed between 1965 and 1975. He will also be remembered as the director of the Lockheed Solar Physics and Astrophysics group in the 1970s.
Dorothy Davis Locanthi, a long-time AAS member, died in Glendale, California on September 27, 1999. An only child, she was born Dorothy N. Davis on April 19, 1913 in East St. Louis, IL, where she attended public schools and graduated from high school in three years. After one year at Ferry Hall, a college preparatory school in Lake Forest, IL, she entered Vassar College in 1929. There she majored in physics and took all the astronomy courses she could under Caroline Furness and Maud Makemson.
Robert M. Light passed away at the home of his father in Carlsbad, New Mexico at the age of 38. Bob, as he was known to his colleagues, was born in Carlsbad on August 14, 1959 to Jo Anna Wills Light and Robert S. Light. He spent his formative years in Carlsbad, attending elementary and high school there.
Frank John Kerr died on 15 September 2000 at his home in Silver Spring, MD. He is survived by his sister Valerie Kerr, son Ian Kerr, daughter Robin Lowry, and four grandchildren, Sean, Kathryn, Alyssa and Talulah, all in Australia. His first wife Kathleen Royce, his second wife Maureen Parnell and his daughter Gillian predeceased him.
William Kaula, professor of geophysics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and one of the leading geophysicists and planetary physicists of the last four decades, died of cancer at the age of 73 on April 1, 2000.
My father, Sidney O. Kastner — solar physicist, astrophysicist, and AAS member — died August 25, 1999, at the age of 73, following a stoic battle with cancer. Most of his 50-year career in science was spent at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where, in 1959, he was one of the first scientists hired by the Laboratory for Astronomy and Solar Physics. He remained on the Lab science staff until 1982, when he chose to retire.
A learned, well-rounded scholar; a man of many talents which he chose to keep hidden from the world; a quiet, encouraging friend to many whom he helped along life's way. By way of example, during his 60 years associated with the Boy Scout movement, he was scoutmaster to 15 troops, and many of his scouts, inspired by his example, went on to their own distinguished careers.
Robert Hjellming died of natural causes while scuba diving on July 29, 2000. A member of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) Basic Research staff, he is survived by his wife Carol and their five children.
Gerhard Herzberg, 1971 Nobel laureate in Chemistry, passed away on 3/4 March 1999. He was a world expert on ions and radicals, Rydberg states, laboratory astrophysics, metal compounds, as well as a recognized teacher and leader in the theory and technique of atomic and molecular spectroscopy.
When Charlene Heisler was about to embark on her PhD in astronomy, her doctor advised her that, since she suffered from cystic fibrosis and was unlikely to survive for more than a couple of years, she should abandon any thoughts of a PhD. But her enthusiasm for astronomy propelled her right through her PhD and then through a further eight years, during which she built a distinguished career at some of the world's top observatories.
Ray Grenchik, a retired professor of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Louisiana State University (LSU) , passed away on 28 September 2000 after a lengthy illness. Grenchik was a native of Whiting, Indiana, and the eldest of seven children. He graduated in 1943 with a BS from St. Procopius College (later known as Illinois Benedictine College (1971-1996) and then, since 1996, Benedictine University). He received his Master's degree from the University of New Mexico, and his PhD from Indiana University in 1956.
Samuel J. Goldstein, Associate Professor Emeritus of astronomy at the University of Virginia, died 13 June 2000, after battling a brain tumor for several months. He is survived by his wife, Carol, and four daughters. Always a Hoosier, he was born 23 June 1925 in Indianapolis, and received his BS in 1948 from Purdue and PhD in 1958 from Stanford, both in Electrical Engineering.
Boris Garfinkel was born on November 18, 1904 in Rjev, Russia, son of a dentist, Myron and Fanny Garfinkel. At age five his family moved to Moscow where he received his early education in a preparatory school and then a Realschule. In 1918 the family emigrated to Vilno, Poland where Boris attended Gymnasia. He completed his high school education at Erasmus Hall H. S. in Brooklyn when his family moved to the United States.
Herbert Friedman died of cancer at his home in Arlington, Virginia on 9 September 2000. He was born in Brooklyn, New York on 21 June 1916, the second of three children of Samuel and Rebecca Friedman.
John Wainwright (Jack) Evans, a major figure in advancing the field of solar astronomy during his long and influential career, died at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on October 31, 1999.
A primary founder of modem astrometry and a man whose essential nature was innovation was lost with the passing of Heinrich K. Eichhorn—Heinz to his friends—on April 24, 1999. Heinz believed in a broad definition of astrometry, so as to include location and motion measured by any means, including radial velocities and interferometry; and his rigorous thinking was legendary among active astrometrists and students alike.
Olin Jeuck Eggen, who had observed the stars from at least four continents, died on 2 October 1998 of a heart attack suffered just after arrival in Canberra, Australia for his annual, month-long visit to the place he had come to regard as home.
Douglas Duke, Professor Emeritus of astronomy at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, died of myocardial infarction in Carlsbad, California, on Friday, 5 November 1999.