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All Posts by Crystal M. Tinch

James H. Trexler (1918 - 2005)

James H. "Trex" Trexler, Naval Center for Space Technology, a retired scientist and astronomer, with a 50-year career at NRL died of cancer on October 22, 2005, at the age of 87.

Born in Missoula, Montana (May 18, 1918), he grew up in Dallas, Texas, and attended Southern Methodist University (SMU) Engineering School. He combined his interests in astronomy and radio communication and operated the observatory on the SMU campus. Mr. Trexler had a most interesting and rewarding career at NRL, which resulted in notable contributions in scientific and technical developments.

Frank J. Low (1933 - 2009)

Frank James Low was born on November 23, 1933, in Mobile, Alabama. He received his undergraduate degree in physics from Yale University in 1955, and his Ph.D. in physics from Rice University in 1959. He worked at Texas Instruments, NRAO, Rice University, and spent most of his career at The University of Arizona with Steward Observatory and the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.

Peter Robert Wilson (1929 - 2007)

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Peter Robert Wilson, a well-known and well-loved figure in the solar physics community. Peter was on the faculty of the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Sydney for 39 years, and Chair of the department for 24 of these years. He was the author or co-author of more than 80 scientific research papers and a book, Solar and Stellar Activity Cycles (1994), published by Cambridge University Press. He died suddenly of a heart attack, at his home in Glebe, Australia, in the early morning of 11 November 2007.

Andrew Stephen Wilson (1947 - 2008)

On 24 May 2008, Andrew Stephen Wilson passed away at the age of 61, in his home in Silver Spring, Maryland, from complications resulting from a painful spinal illness. Andrew was arguably one of the first truly multi-wavelength astronomers of his generation. His scientific work on active galactic nuclei [AGN] spanned the entire electromagnetic spectrum from the radio to the X-rays.

Heinrich Johannes Wendker (1938 - 2008)

Heinrich Johannes Wendker, retired professor at Hamburg University, died on 3 April 2008 at the age of 69 at Reinbek near Hamburg, Germany. He was born on 30 June 1938 in Gimbte, near Munster, Westphalia, Germany. In 1958 he finished high-school and started his studies of mathematics, physics, and astronomy at Munster University. In 1960 Wendker joined the Astronomical Institute at the University and became attracted to the relatively new field of radio astronomy. In the same year he participated in a radio survey (at a wavelength of 11 cm) with the 25-m dish of Stockert observatory.

Eugene Richard Tomer (1932 - 2007)

Dr. Eugene R. Tomer passed away on 2 July 2007 at his home in San Francisco, California. The cause of death was cancer. Tomer was a consulting applied mathematician with a wide range of interests in dynamical astronomy, electromagnetic theory for use in communications, and computational methods of applied mathematics. He was a member of AAS, and the Society for Applied and Industrial Mathematics [SIAM]. With K. H. Prendergast, he co-wrote the influential paper "Self-consistent Models of Elliptical Galaxies," published in the Astronomical Journal 75 (1970), 674-679.

Philip Solomon (1939 - 2008)

Philip Solomon, one of the pioneers and leading researchers in molecular astrophysics, died on 30 April 2008 at his apartment on the upper west side of Manhattan after a battle with cancer. His pioneering research included both theoretical and very extensive observational studies of stellar atmospheres, interstellar molecules, high redshift galaxies, and the Earth's stratosphere. Phil was Distinguished Professor at The State University of New York [SUNY], Stony Brook, where he had been since 1974.

Harding Eugene Smith Jr. (1947 - 2007)

Harding Eugene Smith Junior, or Gene, as he was known to family, friends, and colleagues, passed away after an automobile accident in Encinitas, California, on 16 August 2007. He was 60 years old. Gene had recently retired from UCSD after thirty years of service. A memorial service was held at Quail Botanical Gardens in Encinitas, California, on 23 August 2007. A web page is dedicated to his memory at, where contributions of memories are invited.

Maurice M. Shapiro (1915 - 2008)

Maurice Shapiro was an outstanding scientist and educator whose contributions spanned a range of fields: He was the leader of the "Water Effects" group (study of underwater explosions) within the Los Alamos Ordnance Division in the Manhattan project during World War II; he witnessed the Trinity test and there "shared a blanket with Hans Bethe." Shapiro understood the nature of the new weapons and helped to form the Association of Los Alamos Scientists [ALAS] to lobby for a civilian atomic-energy commission.

Ronald A. Parise (1951 - 2008)

Ronald A. Parise, astronomer and astronaut, passed away at his home in Burtonsville, Maryland, in the presence of his family on 9 May 2008. He died of a brain tumor at age 56 after several years of valiant struggle. He was an inspiration to many students, ham operators, astronomers, and friends the world over. His enthusiasm for astronomy and space exploration was infectious. We, colleagues at Goddard Space Flight Center and Computer Sciences Corporation, treasured his contributions to space astronomy and human spaceflight.

Bjarne G Nilsen (1947 - 2005)

Bjarne Nilsen was born 2 April 1947. He earned a Bachelor degree at Saint John Fisher College and in 1972 received a Masters degree from the Physics and Astronomy department of the University of Rochester with an interest in astrophysics. To my memory, he was the only student we enrolled who was confined to a wheelchair permanently. During his stay at Rochester he served as a research assistant with H. Van Horn and the undersigned.

Howard H. Lanning (1969 - 2007)

Howard H. Lanning died 20 December 2007 in Tucson, Arizona. He was a Software Quality Assurance Engineer for the Data Products Program at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory [NOAO] in Tucson, having returned to his native West after twenty years at the Space Telescope Science Institute [STScI] in Baltimore, Maryland.

James N. Kile (1958 - 2007)

James N. Kile, of Needham Heights, Massachusetts, died on 17 August 2007, following a brave two-year battle with cancer.

One of three children of David R. Kile and Betty Jane Kile, Jim was born in Niagara Falls, New York, on 20 April 1958 and lived in the nearby village of Lewiston before his family settled in Alden, an hour east of Niagara Falls, when Jim was nine. Jim's father worked for American Telephone and Telegraph for 37 years, and his mother was a homemaker.

James C. Kemp (1927 - 1988)

James C. Kemp was born in Detroit, Michigan on 9 February 1927, and died in Eugene, Oregon, on 29 March 1988. He went to high school in Mexico City and did undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan and University of California at Berkeley. Kemp was an active observational astronomer, having migrated from earlier interests in Slavic languages, in which he majored, electrical engineering, and physics. He obtained a PhD in electrical engineering at Berkeley in 1960 and did post-doctoral work there with Erwin Hahn on spin resonance.