Obituaries Listing

Obituaries of Society members are published as a tribute and for future historians of science. The Vice-Chair of the Historical Astronomy Division (HAD) is responsible for commissioning and compiling the obituaries. We depend entirely on the network of astronomical colleagues, including astronomy department and observatory administrators, for notification when an astronomer has died.

To inform us of the death of an astronomer or to volunteer to write the obituary of a colleague please complete the Obituary Submission Form or contact the current HAD Vice-Chair or Crystal Tinch.

Oct 11, 2019

Richard Irwin Mitchell

Richard Irwin Mitchell, astronomer and mathematician, passed away on 5 February 1990, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after a long illness. He was the only child of Lawrence C. Mitchell and Helen (nèe Thompson) Mitchell and was born in Oakland, California on 1 February 1927. He went to Frick Jr. High…

Read More
Oct 11, 2019

Katsuo Tanaka

Katsuo Tanaka was born in 1943 in Tokyo to a prosperous family who encouraged him in the difficult preparation for Tokyo University. He completed undergraduate and graduate studies there, working on radiative transfer and line formation. He obtained his Ph.D degree in 1971 for study of chromospheric spectra from the…

Read More
Oct 11, 2019

James Stokley

James Stokley, native of Philadelphia, died December 29, 1989, at age 89. Best known as a science popularizer, in 1925 Stokley started a 53-year association with Science Service. From 1926 to 1977 its "Science News" magazine featured his regular column describing events in the night sky. Author of seven books,…

Read More
Oct 11, 2019

Serge Alexander Korff

Those of us who, for whatever reason, have had the good fortune to achieve some success in life have a clear obligation to make our talent available to the scientific and other institutions, including the government, if asked, for the good of all our colleagues and fellow citizens. This credo…

Read More
Oct 11, 2019

James C. Kemp

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,…

Read More
May 03, 2019

William R. Ward

William (Bill) Roger Ward was a preeminent theoretician who studied the formation and evolution of planetary systems. He was born on January 11, 1944, and passed away at the age of 74 on September 20, 2018, at his home in Prescott, Arizona, after a battle with brain cancer. Ward’s many…

Read More
Jan 02, 2019

Obituaries

In collaboration with the AAS Historical Astronomy Division, obituaries for members of the community are published in the BAAS. Tarsh Freeman

Read More
Aug 17, 2018 Tarsh Freeman

Tarsh Freeman

Tarsh Freeman, Jr., dedicated astronomer, college teacher, husband, and father, died 19 January 2018 at the DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He was 66. Born on 15 September 1951 in Oakman, Alabama, Tarsh (“Junior,” as he was affectionately known by family members) was the eldest son of the…

Read More
Aug 17, 2018

Robert R. Brownlee

Robert Rex Brownlee, retired nuclear weapons scientist at Los Alamos, died at his home in Loveland, Colorado, on 2 May 2018 at age 94. Born in Zenith, Kansas, on 4 March 1924 to Clarence W. and Francis C. Brownlee, he was the eldest of his parents’ three children. Robert Brownlee…

Read More
Jul 20, 2018

Theodore P. Stecher

Theodore P. (Ted) Stecher, 86, passed away peacefully on Sunday, 29 October 2017 in Silver Spring, MD, surrounded by his family.

Read More