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.
All Posts by Crystal M. Tinch
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).
Distinguished Service Professor Alex G. Smith joined the faculty of the University of Florida in 1948. By the time he retired as a full time professor in 1998 he had completed 50 years of service to the university. Smith was responsible for the initiation and development of the entire University of Florida astronomy program, both teaching and research, which resulted in our current status as a nationally ranked department of astronomy.
Lee Will Simon, an astronomer by education, and a planetarium administrator by profession, was born on 18 February 1940 in Evanston, Illinois. He was the son of Clarence T. Simon, a professor of speech pathology at Northwestern University, and Dorothy née Will Simon, a homemaker, drama coach and published poet. Simon earned a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics (1962), a Master's degree in Astronomy (1964), and a Doctorate in Astronomy (1972), all from Northwestern University. His doctoral dissertation was on the spectroscopy of long-period variable stars.
Rein Silberberg, an internationally recognized authority in cosmic ray and astrophysics research, died of cancer on 31 August 2001 in Silver Spring, Maryland. He was widely admired among his colleagues for his research on the origin and propagation of cosmic rays. He retired from the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, DC in 1990, where he spent virtually his entire scientific career. He continued an active role in cosmic ray research and high energy astrophysics until his death.
Philip Edward Seiden died on 21 April 2001 from congestive heart failure that followed an intensive treatment for cancer in the1980s. He joined our astronomical community when he was 44, after a successful career as a solid state physicist and IBM manager. He worked on galactic structure from 1978 to 1989 and on the structure of sunspot groups from 1992 to 1996.
Julian Jay Schreur, an associate professor of physics and astronomy at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, died of complications associated with a liver transplant on 3 November 2001 in Houston, Texas.
Dr. Robert A. Schommer, a widely recognized expert on stellar populations and on cosmology, died tragically on 12 December 2001, in La Serena, Chile. Since 1990, he had been on the staff at the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory, where he was the equivalent of full professor, and where he had become the Project Scientist for the U.S. Gemini Project Office.
John Albert Russell, pioneer meteor spectroscopist and founder of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Southern California (USC), died of old age on 2 November 2001. He was 88.
Ervin J. Prouse, Professor Emeritus, The University of Texas at Austin, died on 16 June 1998 in Amarillo, Texas. He was ninety-two years old.
John Gardner Phillips died, after a brief period of failing health, on 1 June 2001. He was an active member of the faculty in the Astronomy Department on the Berkeley campus of the University of California from 1950 until well after his retirement in 1987.