17 October 2012

Passing of Gart Westerhout

Kevin Marvel

Kevin Marvel American Astronomical Society (AAS)

The AAS is sad to announce the passing of former AAS Vice-President Gart Westerhout. When the AAS incorporated in Washington, DC, Dr. Westerhout signed the Articles of Incorporation. He was a life-long supporter of the AAS. 

Dr. Gart Westerhout died of congestive heart failure on October 14, 2012, at the age of 85 in his home at the Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville, Md.  (Charlestown Retirement Community, Apt BR 502, 715 Maiden Choice Lane Catonsville, Md. 21228)

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, the former Judith Monaghan; two daughters in Baltimore, Magda Westerhout Mobley and Brigit Molony; a son in Japan, Gart Westerhout; a son in Bloomington, IL, Julian Westerhout; six grandchildren; and one sister in The Netherlands.  He was born on June 15, 1927, in The Hague, The Netherlands.

In 1962 he came to the U.S. from Leiden University, Holland, to establish a new Astronomy Department at the University of Maryland in College Park. He was appointed Scientific Director of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, a post he held from 1977 until his retirement in 1993.

A memorial service will be held at 11:30 am EDT on Tuesday, November 20, at Our Lady of the Angels, Charlestown, 711 Maiden Choice Lane, Catonsville, MD 21228.

Donations in Gart's name may be made online or by post to: Educational Projects, American Astronomical Society, 2000 Florida Ave., NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20009-1231.

An obituary is being prepared by the AAS Historical Astronomy Division. Contact the Chair of the Obituary Committee to supply or request additional information.