Philip Keenan was Professor of Astronomy Emeritus at Ohio State University when he died at age 92 on 20 April 2000 at Riverside Hospital in Columbus. Keenan was one of the most distinguished researchers of the 20th century in the field of stellar spectroscopy. The Morgan, Keenan, and Kellman classification system, which was published in 1943, became the standard system in the field and remains so today, over half a century later.
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Shirley Jones was born to William and Florence Patterson on 26 March 1913 in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. From an early age she loved nature—woods, lakes, islands, and, of course, stars. She also loved to study. In 1931 she received the Carter Scholarship, First Rank, York County, Canada. Then at the University of Toronto in Ontario she studied mathematics and physics and took her BA with First Class Honors in 1935. That year she also received the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
This is to announce regretfully the death of our AAS colleague, Dr. V. A. Hughes, a long-time professor of physics and astronomy at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and since 1900 a professor emeritus in the University. He passed away somewhat unexpectedly in the morning hours of 24 April 2001 after a brief illness and shortly after celebrating his seventy-sixth birthday. He survives in the memories of his wife, Joan, four children and twelve grandchildren.
Sir Fred Hoyle, who died though still working at age 86, applied field theory to cosmology and began new astronomical disciplines. A national hero, he was knighted by the Queen in 1972 for a large number of distinguished contributions to astronomy and to the UK: he worked on radar during WWII, created Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy, and chaired the Science Research Council's astronomy committee for creation of the Anglo-Australian Telescope. By creating and challenging our human view of the universe for more than half the century, Hoyle demonstrated his creative genius.
Frederick Hollander was a member of the AAS for most of his life. Born in New York City on 31 January 1915, he entered Columbia University at an early age and studied astronomy there. In 1934 he received his BA and in 1936, his MA degree. At Columbia he became interested in the methods of computing developed by Eckert and Brouwer. Using punched cards on IBM equipment there, he corrected the orbit of the asteroid Herculina. The results of his research were published in the The Astronomical Journal, Vol. 46, No. 1070, 17 August 1937.
Adrian D. Herzog died of an apparent heart attack on the evening of 28 February 2001. He is survived by his mother, Gertrud Herzog, and his wife, Dora. Adrian's father, Emil R. Herzog, a well-known astronomer, passed away in 1998 (BAAS, 30, 4:457). At the time of his death, Adrian was the chairman of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at California State University, Northridge (CSUN).
Jean Heidmann died in surgery on 3 July 2000 in Paris. His fields of interest were cosmology and galaxies. He is probably best remembered for his research on clumpy galaxies.
Born 18 May 1923 in Jeumont, France, Heidmann earned an undergraduate degree in engineering from the prestigious Ecole Centrale Paris in 1946. Next he entered the Ecole Polytechnique from which he received a PhD in physics in 1951. After a few years, he joined the staff of the Paris Observatory at Meudon, where he remained for the rest of his career.
Fred C. Gillett, a true pioneer in the field of infrared astronomy, died on 22 April 2001, at the age of 64. Fred's scientific and technical contributions spanned the full range from ground-based to space-based IR astronomy, and underlay much of the progress that has been made in the field over the past 30 years. But he will be remembered best by those of us who were privileged to be his friends for his warmth
and generosity, his wisdom, his remarkable technical intuition, and his refreshing lack of ego.
Willliam Fastie was born in Baltimore on 6 December 1916 and grew up during the Depression. In the 1950s he helped set up the space program at Johns Hopkins University. In 1973 NASA presented him with the Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for Outstanding Contributions to the Space Program.
Arthur F. Davidsen, professor of Physics and Astronomy at the Johns Hopkins University, passed away unexpectedly on 19 July 2001, from complications related to a lung disorder. At 57, he was still actively involved in teaching and research, and continued to play a key role in administering on-going projects and pursuing new opportunities.
Clinton Constant was born in Nelson, British Columbia on 20 March 1912. After receiving a BSc degree in 1925 at the university in Alta, Canada, he continued his studies in chemistry at Western Reserve University where he earned his PhD in 1941. His specialties were inorganic chemistry and chemical engineering.
Professor Billings died in Sylvania, Georgia on 31 July 2000. At the University of Colorado, where he had earned his PhD, he was an excellent teacher and supervised a number of doctoral candidates. He is most renowned for his very readable and influential book A Guide to the Solar Corona, published in 1966.
Earnet Hildner of NOAA has published an account of Billings in SolarNews, The Electronic Newsletter of the Solar Physics Division, AAS, Vol. 2000, No. 17, 7 September 2000.
Dr. James H. Bartlett, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa died on 4 September 2000 at the age of 95. Dr. Bartlett received a BCE at Northwestern in 1924 and his PhD in Physics in 1930 from Harvard.
Kenneth Osborne Wright died of the effects of Parkinson's disease on 25 July 2002, nearly nine months after celebrating his ninetieth birthday. He was born in Fort George, British Columbia, Canada, to Charles Melville and Agnes Pearl née Osborne Wright on 1 November 1911. His father was a minister. Ken spent almost all his life and virtually all his professional career in his native province. His student years, however, were spent at the University of Toronto.
Albert E. Whitford, dean of modern photoelectric photometry, died in Madison, Wisconsin on 28 March 2002, following a brief illness. He was 96 years old, and had remained active in astronomical research well into his 90’s. He will be remembered for his pioneering scientific work, his superb knowledge of astronomical instrumentation, his leadership in bringing the Lick 3.0m telescope into operation, his courage in the face of difficult administrative decisions, his perseverance, and perhaps most of all his profound integrity.
Known to his astronomical colleagues simply as 'Vis', Natarajan Visvanathan enjoyed their deep affection and esteem throughout his full and productive career. He was born on 23 February 1932 in Sankarankoil, Madras, India. His father, Natarajan Iyer was a criminal lawyer while his mother, Gangai Ammal was a housewife. In the year prior to Vis’s birth, his parents lost seven of his older siblings in a cholera epidemic. Vis was a precocious student and excelled in mathematics and Carnatic music.
David Joshua Van Blerkom, Professor of Astronomy at the University of Massachusetts, died 16 February 2001 after a long struggle with a blood disease. He met with his classes up until three days before he died.
Canadian astronomy lost it longest serving member with the death, on 21 March 2002 at age 94, of Malcolm M. Thomson. Malcolm was born in Nelson, British Columbia, on 3 January 1908, the oldest of four children of a Baptist minister. Moving regularly as his father accepted periodic calls to serve new congregations, Thomson was educated in Edmonton and Winnipeg. He graduated in 1929 from the University of Manitoba with a BA in mathematics.
Charles Bruce Stephenson, the Worcester R. and Cornelia B. Warner Professor Emeritus of Astronomy at Case Western Reserve University, died in his sleep at home on the morning of 3 December 2001, at the age of 72. The only son of Chauncy Elvira and Ona née Richards Stephenson, Bruce was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on 9 February 1929. Raised on a farm in Illinois, Chauncy served in the U. S. Army A.E.F.
It is with profound sadness that we announce the untimely death on 22 February 2002, of our dear friend and colleague, Dr. Thomas J. Sodroski, the son of Walter and Catherine Sodroski. At the time of his death Tom was working with his colleague Dr. Nils Odegard, at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, developing models for the origin of the diffuse Galactic gamma ray emission from the Milky Way, and providing scientific support for the archivingl and dissemination of astronomical data at the National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC).