Paul Sollenberger, the U. S. Naval Observatory's first civilian Director of Time Service, died on 22 May 1995 at age 103. Born in Kokomo, Indiana on 14 August 1891, Sollenberger came to the Naval Observatory in 1914 and began work under H. R. Morgan on the 9-inch transit circle. In 1919 he transferred to the Division of Nautical Instruments and Time and in 1928 was put in charge of the Division, a position previously filled by a naval officer. He held this position until his retirement in 1953.
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Alfred O. C. Nier, Regents' Professor of Physics Emeritus at the University of Minnesota, died on 16 May 1994 from injuries suffered two weeks earlier in an auto accident. He would have been 83 on May 28. His first paper, "A Device to Compensate for Magnetic Field Fluctuations in a Mass Spectrograph," appeared in 1935; his last, on noble gases in lunar dust grains, in 1994.
Willem Jacob Luyten was born in Samarang, Java on 7 March 1899. At the age of 11, his uncle awakened him at 4:30 am and told him "Come on outside; there is something marvelous to see." It was Halley's Comet, and while the head was below the horizon, the end of the tail was past the zenith. That was a sight he never forgot and it was an experience that convinced him to become an astronomer.
Thomas Edward Lutz, an internationally-known expert in fundamental calibrations of stellar distances and luminosities, died suddenly, of cardiac arrhythmia, at his home in Pullman, Washington, on February 20, 1995.
William Kaufmann, one of the best-known popularizers of astronomy, died suddenly at the age of 51 in 1994. He left behind a legacy of nontechnical books through which students, amateurs, and the public learned about some of the most abstract and fascinating research topics of our day.
Professor William A. ('Willy') Fowler died on 14 March 1995 at age 83 in Pasadena, California, where he had lived and worked for 62 years at the California Institute of Technology. Fowler shared the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physics with Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (who also died this year).
Madeleine Barnothy Forro, physicist and astrophysicist, a worldwide known pioneer of cosmic ray research, died in February 1995 in Evanston, Illinois. The rich scientific career of Madeleine Forro started in the late 1920s in the Institute for Experimental Physics of the Peter Pazmany (now Lorand Eötvös) University at Budapest, Hungary. She defended her Ph.D. dissertation on measurements of the dielectric constant in 1928. In the same year she and Jeno M.
Gordon Wares was born in Tynescastle, Sask., Canada on 10 February 1911. An American citizen, he graduated from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 1933, studied for three years at Berkeley, and then transferred to the Yerkes Observatory where he completed his PhD under Chandrasekhar in 1940. He taught at Brenau College (1939-1941) and at Milwaukee State Teachers College (1941-1942) when he enlisted in the Army Air Force. In 1944 he was discharged for work as physicist and head of the computing section at what is now the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley.
Richard Thomas died in his sleep at his home in Boulder, Colorado the night of Monday, April 8-9. Dick had suffered a stroke during surgery in the spring of 1992, and struggled courageously with the subsequent partial paralysis for the next four years, always keeping his interest in astronomy, astronomers and his family foremost among his thoughts. He is survived by his wife, Nora, their step-daughter, Anush, and his daughter, Bess Alta.
William Shuter, professor in the Department of Physics and the first radio astronomer hired at the University of British Columbia, died in Vancouver after a very brief illness on 19 March 1995.
R. William Shaw, professor emeritus of astronomy at Cornell and long time chairman of the Astronomy Department, died in Ithaca on 14 March 1995 at the age of 90, after a long siege of crippling arthritis and generally declining health.
Philip Shaefer Riggs was born in Chicago on 30 May 1906 and graduated in 1927 from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (Carnegie-Mellon) in physics, eventually obtaining a PhD in astronomy from Berkeley in 1944. He held a series of teaching posts starting at Washburn College, Topeka, Kansas, where he joined the faculty as assistant professor of astronomy in 1937.
Jill S. Price was born on 7 August 1957, in Morristown, New Jersey. She received a BA in astronomy and physics in 1979 from Swarthmore College, and a PhD in astrophysics in 1984 from the University of Wyoming. Her dissertation, completed under the direction of Gary Grasdalen, was entitled "A Comparative Study of Dust, Gas, and Young Stars in Three Small Galaxies."
Thornton Leigh Page died at his home at Nassau Bay, Houston on 2 January 1996, at the age of 82. Born in New Haven, Connecticut on 13 August 1913, he was the son of Leigh Page, then an instructor in physics at Yale, and Mary Thornton Page, who had trained as a nurse before their marriage. Leigh Page taught theoretical physics and wrote two well-known textbooks.
Bernard Oliver, after a life of extraordinary contributions to the fields of electronics, radio engineering, physics, astronomy, computer science, and biology, died on 23 November 1995 at the age of 79. Known to friends and family as "Barney," he was born 17 May 1916, on a modest farm in the coastal village of Soquel, California. A farm boy and only child, his father William was a civil engineer in Santa Cruz county, and his mother Margaret was a successful teacher in the Santa Cruz schools, encouraging her son to take a strong interest in all aspects of the world.
Edward ('Eddie') Ney passed away on 9 July 1996 at age 75 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after a 14-year battle with congestive heart failure. Ney was co-discoverer of heavy isotopes in the primary cosmic-rays, made pioneering contributions to the use of high altitude balloons for cosmic-ray and atmospheric research, and was one of the founders of infrared astronomy.
Edith Müller, since 1983 honorary professor of astrophysics at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, died of heart failure at the age of 77 on 24 July 1995 while on holiday in Spain. She was born in Madrid on 5 February 1918 of Swiss parents, and grew up there, training in physics and mathematics. She obtained her PhD in 1943 in Zurich concentrating on solar physics, which would be her lifelong specialty.
Robert McCracken, a retired optical-electronics engineer and nuclear researcher with the former National Bureau of Standards (NBS) and the U.S. Army Harry Diamond Laboratories (HDL), trustee and past president of the National Capital Astronomers, Inc. (NCA), founder and past president of the Hopewell Corporation and Observatory, and past president of the Washington Academy of Sciences (WAS), died on 1996 May 28 after a long battle with cancer.
Margaret Walton was born in Iron Hill, Maryland, on 27 January 1902, and died of congestive heart failure in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on 6 December 1995. The northern lights and Halley's comet in 1910 stimulated her early interest in astronomy. She graduated from Swarthmore College in January 1925, where L. J. Comrie encouraged her to seek employment at Harvard Observatory. There she worked for Annie J. Cannon, helping with the determination of magnitudes of stars in the Henry Draper Extension and became familiar with the HD system of spectral classification.
Many astronomers remember Harold Lane for his untiring service to our community at the National Science Foundation's Astronomy Section. Lane had been interested in astronomy from his early childhood. Son of a construction contractor in Barre, Vermont, he and relatives were amateur astronomers, building a telescope together and attending the annual Springfield star party known as Stellafane.