GLPA Obituaries

This section contains obituaries of planetarians whose efforts exemplify the spirit of GLPA and astronomy education. Please note that this is a work in progress. Members are encouraged to submit obituary notices and corrections to the GLPA Historian, who is currently Garry Beckstrom at garrybeckstrom@delta.edu.

 

Wade E. Allen  (1953 - 2010)

Wade E. Allen, former curator of astronomy at the Boonshoft Museum in Dayton, Ohio passed away on December 9, 2010. He was born January 15, 1953 in Dayton, and was a graduate of the University of Dayton. An electrical engineer, he also was a founding member of the Miami Valley Astronomical Society. He is survived by his life partner, ___?___Gamon, and by Stephen Gamon, who he helped raise.

 

Zenon D. Billeaux

A Charter Member of GLPA. (Need more information)

 

Allen Bishop  (1942 - 2006)

Dr. Allan Bishop passed away on August 7th after a courageous battle with cancer. Allan was the husband of Dr. Jeanne Bishop, now retired from the Westlake Schools Planetarium. Allan had recently retired from an engineering career at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. For the past 19 years, Jeanne and Allan hosted the annual C.R.A.P. Christmas party and potluck at their home in Westlake. Allan will be sorely missed by all who knew him and will be remembered for his loving devotion to his family and for his cheerfulness, wisdom, and quiet resourcefulness to his many friends and colleagues who turned to him for help.

 

Bruce Brandle

Former Director of the Marion High School Planetarium in Indiana. Died from Huntington’s disease. (Need more information)

 

Joseph Chamberlain  (1923 - 2011)

Joseph M. Chamberlain, who helped advance astronomical education and entertainment by leading planetariums in New York and Chicago into a new era of technology, instruction and visitor experience, died on Nov. 28, 2011 in Peoria, Ill., where he lived. He was 88. His death was announced by the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. Dr. Chamberlain’s love was sailing, and he taught celestial navigation courses during his 16 years at the Hayden Planetarium in Manhattan, 12 of which he spent as its leader, and during his 23 years as director and president at the Adler. His larger impact at both places was to build new facilities, buy new projectors to make tiny stars brighter and comets more dashing, hire more professional astronomers, strengthen and increase the number of special exhibitions and greatly expand educational offerings. In an interview with The New York Daily Mirror in 1954, Dr. Chamberlain said a theatrical touch was essential. “Give the audience 40 minutes of astronomy and there would be no audience,” he said. “It has to be a combination of science and showmanship. If there’s a sunrise, we furnish appropriate sunrise music.” Dr. Chamberlain was one of the first scientists to organize cruises to distant destinations for planetariums and other groups so people could witness heavenly events like eclipses and comets.

Joseph Miles Chamberlain was born in Peoria on July 26, 1923, and remained there after graduating from high school to enroll at Bradley University. But he left the college during World War II to become a cadet at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., where he earned a bachelor’s degree. He then served on transport ships in the Atlantic and the Pacific before returning to Bradley to finish a second bachelor’s degree. To finance his education, he taught high school part time and worked in a cigar store. Returning to New York, he taught nautical science at the Merchant Marine Academy and earned master’s and doctorate degrees from Teacher’s College of Columbia University, concentrating on meteorology and astronomy. He gave guest lectures at the Hayden Planetarium, averaging five a week from 1950 to 1952. The Hayden hired him as an assistant curator in 1952. He then rose through the ranks to become Hayden’s chairman in 1956 and an assistant director of the American Museum of Natural History, Hayden’s parent, in 1964.

A high point of Dr. Chamberlain’s tenure came in 1960, when he bought a powerful new projector for the planetarium’s famous star show. It replaced one that was wearing out, and it was equipped to display more arcane celestial phenomena. Dr. Chamberlain was frequently quoted in the New York press on matters like eclipses, the change of seasons and the visibility of particular planets. He would personally answer letters from children, including ones asking him to “please write up the solar system for me.” He told them to do their own homework. As assistant director of the natural history museum in 1965, Dr. Chamberlain was sent to Florida to retrieve the 100-carat DeLong star ruby, which had turned up after being stolen from the museum. He carried it under his shirt. A private investigator who traveled with him carried a black attaché case handcuffed to his wrist as a decoy.

Joe became Director of the Adler in 1968. He was invited to Chicago to help implement the recommendations of Mayor Richard J. Daley's blue-ribbon committee on the Adler's future. At the time the Adler was operated by the Chicago Park District. Joe's tenure as Director, and later as President, was a time of numerous expansions. A new $4 million underground facility, with the Kroc Universe Theater, a dining area, and new exhibition space, was opened to the public in 1973. He also oversaw the upgrading of the original Zeiss planetarium theater, replacing the original 1930 Zeiss with a new Zeiss Mark VI. In 1976, the Adler Board of Trustees assumed full management responsibility from the Park District. In 1977, the Doane Observatory was opened, a facility that houses a 20-inch Cassegrain reflecting telescope able to transmit live images. In 1991, a $6.5 million renovation was completed, adding a new Planetarium café, a sky-show production suite, a research center for the History of Astronomy Department, and a "Stairway to the Stars" special-effects escalator connecting the Universe Theater with the Sky Theater. In addition to physical and administrative improvements, Joe also expanded the Adler's professional staffing and standing in the community. He added astronomers, curators, educators, exhibit specialists, and business professionals to the staff. A longtime supporter of the American Association of Museums, Joe worked to make the Adler an accredited member of AAM, a status the Planetarium maintains to this day. He was also active in the worldwide planetarium community through groups such as the International Planetarium Society and the International Planetarium Directors Congress, as well as in the local community through civic organizations including the Near South Planning Board. After 23 years of leadership, during which he firmly established the Adler Planetarium as one of Chicago's major cultural institutions, Joe retired in 1991 and moved back to Peoria. At that time he was named Adler President Emeritus and became a Life Trustee on the Adler Board.

Dr. Chamberlain arrived in Chicago when oversight of the Adler was shifting from the city to a private board. He replaced fraying technology, charged admission for the first time, installed a telescope through which the public could directly view the heavens, and came up with attractions like the Stairway to the Stars, an escalator lined with thousands of flickering stars that linked two theaters. He got the Adler accredited as a museum. He also occasionally invited people into the planetarium’s main dome to listen to him recite poetry from memory. Dr. Chamberlain, who was chairman of the International Planetarium Directors Conference for 12 years, retired in 1991.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, the former Paula Jane Bruninga; three daughters, Janet Flinchbaugh, Susan Cardwell and Barbara Vetterick; a brother, Thad; a sister, Barbara Abegg; and four grandchildren. By the way, Dr. Chamberlain discovered life on Mars in 1958, according to a report in The New York Times. The breakthrough came as his employees were making a large globe representing Mars from plants for a flower show. He spotted a spider crawling over the planet’s surface. “Good heaven, there is life on Mars!” Dr. Chamberlain exclaimed. He was hard-working, dedicated, and conscientious and also had a great sense of humor and enjoyed celebrating with staff. Adler Planetarium staff past and present who had the opportunity of working with Joe are quick to regale listeners with fond memories and "Joe stories".

 

Richard H. (“Dick”) Emmons  (1919 - 2005)

A Charter Member of GLPA. Richard H. (“Dick”) Emmons, 86, of North Canton, Ohio passed away at his home on Wednesday, June 29th, following several months of illness with cancer. He was born in Canton on May 29, 1919.

Since Dick was well known as “Mr. Astronomy” in the Canton area, it is significant that he was born on the same day as the solar eclipse that tested Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. He was the son of a lawyer, H. H. Emmons, and Pauline Temple Emmons. He graduated from McKinley High School in 1936 and later earned his B.A. at the University of Southern California and his M.A. at Kent State University. He taught at Kent State University, where he became a Professor before his retirement. For many years, he was an engineer with Goodyear Aerospace in Akron, using a mobile observatory at Mount Palomar for satellite tracking.

In years prior to the opening of the Hoover-Planetarium at the McKinley Museum, which he helped to establish, he ran the North Canton Planetarium at his residence. Tens of thousands of area school children attended programs. With his son, Tom (TSA Services) he built 23 small planetariums, now in operation in schools and museums throughout the country. He founded and directed the volunteer Akron-Canton satellite Moonwatch Project during the first International Geophysical Year in 1957, as well as during the early years of the U.S. space program. Dick’s astronomical work has been featured in many Repository articles. He was a full member of the American Astronomical Society for 60 years and, in recent years, was a member of the area Wilderness Center Astronomy Club. In 2000, an asteroid was officially named “Emmons 5391” in honor of his astronomical accomplishments. One contribution resulted from his observations of the satellite Echo I – namely, that the near-space environment possesses fewer hazards than previously expected. This finding helped pave the way for manned space exploration. He observed his asteroid with telescopes at the Wilderness Center in Wilmot.

Dick is survived by a sister, two children (one of which is GLPA’s Jeanne Bishop), three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Memorial contributions may be made to the Aultman Hospice Program, 2821 Woodlawn NW, Canton, OH 44708 or UNICEF Columbus Chapter, 682 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215.

 

George W. Girard

A Charter Member of GLPA.  (Need more information)

 

Ron Hartman

Ron Hartman, who passed away August ___?____ was a Professor of Astronomy and the Director of the campus planetarium from 1967 to 2005. Even in retirement, Ron continued teaching and was instrumental in the planetarium's refurbishment.

 

Donald Hays

A Charter Member of GLPA. (Need more information)

 

William Hill  (1919 - 2006)

William “Bill” Hill, the founding director of the Waubonsie Valley High School Planetarium died June 6, 2006,in Naperville, Illinois. Bill was a long-time science teacher and science department chair in Naperville schools. In the early 1950s, he started a local science fair that eventually led him to guide the Illinois Junior Academy of Science. Besides his leadership in local schools, he worked as a tour escort at Argonne National Laboratory, and taught at North Central College and College of DuPage.

In 1974, Bill became the chair of the science department of the then-new Waubonsie Valley High School where he supervised the construction and opening of the planetarium. The 30-foot dome had a Viewlex/Minolta Series IIB projector, automation system, and bank of auxiliary special effects projectors. He retired from the planetarium and public school education in 1979 to become a faculty member at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Bill is survived by his wife, Betty, a son, and two daughters. Significantly, the planetarium that he designed and nurtured continues to offer the wonders of the universe to local school children and public visitors.

 

Victor H. Hogg

A Charter Member of GLPA. (Need more information)

 

Maxine Haarstick

A Charter Member of GLPA. (Need more information)

 

Ruth M. Howard

A Charter Member of GLPA. (Need more information)

 

Steven O. Innes  (1955 - 2011)

Died unexpectedly on Oct. 16, 2011. He was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on April 22, 1955, the son of Rachel and Richard Innes. He graduated from high school in Ann Arbor, and graduated from Eastern Michigan University. He married Nancy Murphy in 1980, and lived in Denver, Colo., where Ben and Hilary were born. They moved to Gorham, Maine in 1995.

Steve worked as a technician in both the Southworth Planetarium and the College of Science, Technology and Health. This past spring, Steve was awarded the Nelson and Small Prize by the Department of Engineering faculty for his dedicated service. Steve loved being outdoors and volunteered many hours working on Maine AT club corridor maintenance. Steve and his wife have been active members of the Down East Ski Club and they have enjoyed spending their winter weekends skiing with their friends at Shawnee Peak. Steve and Nancy also enjoyed participating in the Annual Trek Across Maine for the past eight years. Steve had a passion for 'tinkering' with small engines, lawnmowers, his miniature trains, his observatory, and telescopes. He volunteered with Gorham High School robotics team while his son was a member.

Steve is survived by his wife Nancy of Gorham; daughter Hilary of Colorado, son Ben of Gorham; his parents, Rachel and Richard Innes of Gorham; sister Ro and husband Mehmet Altin of St. Peters, Mo., sister Lydia and husband Bill Luitje of Ann Arbor, Mich., and brother David Innes of Minneapolis, Minn.

 

Bill D. Kobel  (1927 - 2011)

84, passed away at his home in North Ridgeville, Ohio on April 15, 2011 after a long illness. He was retired from the science department at Fairview High School in Fairview Park, where he had served as head of the department, planetarium director, and chemistry teacher. He had also worked at the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center’s Schuele planetarium. He was one of the early members of CRAP, the Cleveland Regional Association of Planetariums and remained very active in the group until some years ago when his health began to fail, preventing him from attending our meetings with his enthusiastic regularity. All of us who were fortunate to know him will miss not only his warm friendship, but also his strong dedication to good science teaching, and particularly his creative programs for the planetarium as a teaching environment which he so willingly shared with his fellow planetarians.

 

Roland "Bud" Linderman  (? - 2016)
submitted by Jon Marshall

It was in early March that we members of the Cleveland Regional Association of Planetariums received the sad news that our longtime colleague, Bud Linderman, had passed away on February 27, 2016, following a short illness and a fall in his home. He is survived by his wife, Leda, and their son,Todd.

Bud had been retired since 1992, after some 28 years as Director of the planetarium at Midpark High School (now Midpark Middle School) in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, and was one of the earliest members of the Cleveland Regional Association of Planetariums who continued his active interest and attendance at our meetings even after retiring. For many years, Bud maintained the C.R.A.P. mailing list and sent out the notices of our meetings, which were always printed and mailed out (before email, obviously!), a task which he handed over to me quite a while ago.

Those of us who knew Bud will always remember his smooth, deep, commanding voice, as will his many students and audiences in the planetarium, along with his quiet, droll sense of humor. We’ll also remember his creativity in developing not only effective programs and demonstrations for the planetarium (back in “the days” of slides and special-effects projectors, etc.), but also lessons and lab activities for the classroom. One example of his lab lessons was based on two sequences of actual sky photographs taken from a local backyard by one of his friends over several months, which “revealed” two very different retrograde loops of Mars. Bud generously gave me a set of the original photo prints which I used for many years with my own classes.

The memorial service for Bud was attended by a large gathering of family and friends, teacher colleagues, former students, and fellow planetarians. Some former students spoke of Bud with particular warmth as they related memories of their sometimes hilarious adventures over several years, during the excursions when they piled their camping equipment and telescopes into Bud’s station wagon for some long trips to observe solar eclipses and other astronomical events. Their heartfelt reminiscences from years ago clearly conveyed that for them — as well as many others — Bud Linderman truly embodied the spirit and meaning of that famous quotation: “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”

Other speakers shared their personal memories and experiences from Bud’s life in very moving and touching ways which will help to keep alive our own recollections of our friend and fellow planetarian, Bud Linderman.

 

Roy Morris

(Need more information)

 

Thomas H. Osgood

A Charter Member of GLPA. (Need more information)

 

Martha Schafer (Need more information)

 

Howard Schriever  (1927 - 2010)

83, of Rochester, Minnesota passed away peacefully February 25, 2010 at Clare Bridge Senior Living in Plymouth, Minnesota, comforted by family members. During the "space race" of the 1960s, Howard was part of the traveling science teacher program that Michigan State University developed to boost interest in science and engineering. Traveling to schools throughout the Midwest with his "Mr. Wizard-style road show of experiments, he taught the wonders of science with a theatrical routine that made scientific principles look more like a magic show than a science class.

Howard was a passionate educator. He presented nearly 10,000 planetarium lessons to 400,000 visitors in his 19 years of service (1966-1985) to the Rochester community. He was the author of many contributions to the PIanetarium Director's Handbook published by Spitz and was an instructor for the company at their summer educational institutes held in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. He was the first planetarium director for Mayo High School, the oldest permanent school based planetarium in the state. Locally and nationally he was recognized for his commitment to excellence in "bringing the heavens down to Earth" for students of all ages. Dave Weinrich, who student taught under Howard, remembers: "What always struck me about Howard was his incredible energy and how much he enjoyed his work. He would be rubbing his hands together prior to some of his elementary shows just bubbling over with enthusiasm. He taught me again and again that science can be fun. He always had a good time with the students."

 

William Schultz

A Charter Member of GLPA. (Need more information)

 

Dan Snow

A Charter Member of GLPA. (Need more information)

 

Duane Douglas Stanley  (1921 - 2009)

87, died May 18, 2009 in Indianapolis. Born October 30, 1921 in Neillsville, WI. He attended grade school in a one-room schoolhouse near Neillsville, received his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1946, and his M.S. for Butler University, Indianapolis. He was in the U.S. Air Force 1943-45, serving 32 missions in the Pacific in WWII. After teaching agriculture in Edgerton and Wonewoc, WI, he moved to Indianapolis in 1957, teaching at Pike High School until 1979. Duane became a science teacher and then Planetarium Director. He had a great love of nature and the outdoors. In retirement, he and his wife Grace visited all 50 states, Europe, and Central America.

 

Donald E. Tuttle  (1920 - 2010)

A Charter Member of GLPA. Passed away August 29, 2010. He was born July 22, l920 in Medford, Minnesota, the son of George and Margaret Landon Tuttle. He had been a resident of Elgin, Illinois for 48 years. Don was a veteran of WWII serving in the U.S. Navy. He joined School District U46 in 1960 as Planetarium Director, a position he held for 24 years. He also taught astronomy at Elgin Community College for many years, retiring in 2009. Don is survived by his wife, Carol Heywood Tuttle, whom he married on September 3, 1949, his three children, Susan Koelleg, Richard Tuttle, and Donna Hoppe, six grandchildren, and his sister, Dorolyn Sohner Hafer.