John Wolbach was born in Boston, Massachusetts on 27 February 1917. He loved astronomy and wanted to go to Harvard to study the stars. With the help of a young graduate student named Leo Goldberg, John began to fulfil his dream at Harvard College Observatory in the late 1930s. The development of World War II, however, interrupted his studies and he left college to serve in the Air Force as an instructor in chemical warfare. After the war, John resumed his studies and earned his BA in 1948.
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Dr. Robert Neal Whitehurst, age 77, a retired Professor of Astronomy at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, died on 28 April 2000. Dr. Whitehurst received his BS and MS degrees at the University of Alabama in 1943 and 1948, and his PhD in Physics at Stanford in 1958.
Working with various colleagues and students at the University of Alabama during the 1950's, Bob's research concerned the technical side of radio astronomy. He developed devices for measuring solar radiation and atmospheric attenuation at the 6-mm wavelength.
Joyce Rey-Watson was a librarian who specialized in searching online astronomical databases. As such, she became a member of the American Astronomical Society. In the 1980s and 1990s she became a well-known figure at AAS meetings where she set up computers and demonstrated techniques for online searching of astronomical databases.
Solar Physicist Arthur B. C. Walker, Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University and a mentor of women and minority students, died at his home on 29 April 2001 after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Born in Elkhart, Indiana, on 29 July 1929, Thomas Lee Swihart (Tom) died suddenly of a massive heart attack on 12 May 1995, while on a vacation cruise to Hawaii with his wife, Merna. Appointed Assistant Professor in the University of Arizona (UA) Faculty, in the Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory, on 1 July 1963, and promoted in June 1969 to Full Professor, Tom remained a active member of that faculty until his retirement with the rank of Emeritus Professor on 15 August 1994.
Kaj Aage Strand, Scientific Director of the US Naval Observatory from 1963-1977, died 31 October 2000 from a stroke at the Manor Care Nursing Home in Washington, DC. He was 93. During a long and distinguished career, he specialized in positional astronomy, especially work on double stars and stellar distances. He was responsible for the design and construction of the Navy's 61-inch astrometric reflector in Flagstaff Arizona, now known as the Strand Astrometric Telescope.
Newton Gordon Sprague, the first director of the Ball State University Planetarium, passed' away on 18 September 1998 at the age of 84. Born and educated in Indianapolis, Sprague received a BS in Chemistry from Butler University in 1935. Following his graduation Sprague worked as a postal clerk because of poor economic conditions that prevailed during the Great Depression.
Joseph W. Siry died after a brief illness at the age of 80 on 4 January 2001. Born in New York City and raised in New Jersey, Siry earned a BS in Physics from Rutgers University in 1941. He served in the US Navy from 1942 to 1946 with the final rank of Lieutenant. While in the Navy, his training included courses at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was followed by duty at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, DC.
John Simpson died at age 83 in Chicago on 31 August 2000 from pneumonia following successful heart surgery. He was renowned as a nuclear and cosmic-ray physicist. At the University of Chicago he was the Arthur H. Compton Distinguished Service Professor emeritus at the Enrico Fermi Institute and the Department of Physics.
Simpson was born on 3 November 1916 in Portland, Oregon. He received an AB degree in physics from Reed College in 1940. At New York University he earned an MS degree in physics in 1942 and his PhD in 1943.
Olof Rydbeck died on 27 March 1999. He was the founder of Onsala Space Observatory and one of the world's pioneers of radio astronomy during its rapid growth after World War II. While at Harvard in the late 1930s, he became interested in the ionosphere and its effects on wireless transmission; in 1940 he finished his doctoral thesis on radio wave reflection from the ionosphere.
Reuven Ramaty, a pioneer in high energy astrophysics, died of complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, at his home in Silver Spring, Maryland, on 8 April 2001. Undaunted by the ravages of his illness, he was still studying new cosmic ray data in his last hours. He is survived by his wife, Vera, his two daughters, Daphne and Deborah, and five grandchildren.
At the age of 74, Professor Orrall died in Ipswich, Massachusetts on 4 February 2000. He is renowned worldwide for the scope of his research on the solar corona and for his dedication to teaching.
Orrall was born on 15 October 1925 in Somerville, Massachusetts and received his BS in physics from the University of Massachusetts in 1950. At Harvard, under the supervision of Professors Donald Menzel and Richard Thomas, he earned his PhD in 1956.
Thomas J. Ogburn III was born in Richmond, Virginia and remained a resident of that city for his entire life. Although encouraged by his father's interest in astronomy, Ogburn first studied engineering for two years at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute extension in Richmond. He then entered Yale University where he first majored in physics and minored in mathematics. However, through his evident love of astronomy, Ogburn persuaded the Yale faculty to allow him to take astronomy classes taught at that time only at the graduate level.
Lynn Miller was born in Beech Grove, Indiana on 21 June 1951. She attended public school in New Palestine, Indiana, graduating with highest honors from New Palestine High School in 1969. Lynn entered Butler University in Indianapolis as a full-scholarship National Merit Scholar with the intention of continuing her long commitment to dance, but soon found that her interests had turned elsewhere. So in her sophomore year, Lynn put away her dance shoes and took on a course of study that led her to a BA degree in mathematics in 1973.
Dr. Natalie Mandzhavidze, a respected solar physicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, died from complications related to multiple sclerosis on 9 April 2001 at her home in Lanham, MD.
Jacqueline Sweeney Kloss was born in Ames, Iowa on 17 August 1930. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Orland Russell Sweeney, she came east to Cambridge, Massachusetts to attend Radcliffe College, where she studied astronomy. After she graduated in 1952, she worked at Harvard College Observatory as a research assistant to Professor Harlow Shapley. In 1956 Shapley gave her in marriage when she became the bride of Henry Esplin Kloss. After their honeymoon in Bermuda, the young couple made their home in Cambridge, where Jacqui subsequently became active in musical and social services .
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.
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.