Peter Abrahams (–)

Peter Abrahams

Peter Abrahams passed away on Sunday the 4th of March 2018.

Peter was born on March 19, 1955, in Los Angeles, California, graduated from Reed College in 1977 with a major in English, and lived afterwards in Portland, Oregon.

Peter was an internationally recognized expert on the history of telescopes and binoculars, and served on the Executive Committee of the Historical Astronomy Division from 2005-2007.  He was a frequent attendee and presenter at HAD sessions at AAS meetings.

He was one of the earliest members of the Antique Telescope Society (ATS), having joined in 1992. President, Vice-President, and board member were positions he held with that organization.  The ATS awards the Sir Isaac Newton medal to a member for meritorious service and contributions to the society: Peter received this award in 2009. Additionally, he was a member of the Scientific Instrument Society and the National Coalition of Independent Scholars.

The Rose City Astronomers (an astronomy club in Portland, Oregon) counted him as one of their earliest members, and he served as their President for five years.

Peter set the standard for sharing information.  His generosity on providing information to others was unequalled. His web site contained extensive information on historic telescopes and binoculars and was an absolute joy to pursue. He was always willing to help anyone with any inquiry on telescopes, binoculars, and the history of astronomy.

Survivors include his daughter Katherine of Portland, Oregon; his companion Antonette DeVito of Los Angeles; his mother and stepfather Rosalie and Stanley Minsk also of Los Angeles; his sister Barbara of Boulder, Colorado; his brother Mike of Tiburon, California; and many nieces and nephews.

Peter died of a sudden heart attack fifteen days short of his 63rd birthday.

Much of the above biographical information came from these sources:

http://www.rosecityastronomers.net/newsletter-content/2018/3/13/beloved-rca-president-peter-abrahams-has-died

http://www.webari.com/oldscope/atspages/Peter%20Abrahams%20-%20A%20Short%20Biography.pdf

Photo: Antique Telescope Society

Obituary Written By: Patrick Seitzer (University of Michigan)