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 by clicking on the following link: Contact Historian.
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Wade E. Allen  (1953 - 2010)
Wade E. Allen, 57, former Director of Astronomy at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, passed away on December 9, 2010. Wade was a Fellow and former member of GLPA.
        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.
        Wade graduated from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1971. While Wade worked as an electrical engineer for many years his passion of astronomy took a stronghold over him. He joined the local amateur astronomy club and began to volunteer at the museum, then known as the Dayton Museum of Natural History. Wade had been volunteering for nearly 20 years presenting planetarium shows with the Spitz A3P instrument and sharing the night sky with visitors in the Apollo Observatory with the 50 cm Dall-Kirkham telescope when in 1991 the museum expanded, more than doubling its exhibit space. The addition included the construction of a new planetarium and the expansion of the astronomy wing. Wade was employed as the Assistant Director of Astronomy in 1991 and promoted to Director of Astronomy when Art Goss resigned that position to move to the Seattle, Washington area.
        Wade remained very active in astronomy outreach following his retirement from the Museum in 1999. He continued to lecture and lead observing sessions at a local state park, John Bryan, as he had for the past 30 summers on alternating Saturday evenings from Memorial Day through Labor Day. He taught astronomy to children through a summer program at his church and adult education astronomy classes for several municipalities.
        Wade was passionate about astronomy. He was a kind and patient planetarium mentor. I don’t know anyone as knowledgeable about the night sky as Wade. He was exceptionally witty and had a dry sense of humor. He will be sorely missed by all of us in the astronomy community of the Dayton, Ohio area.
        Submitted by Cheri Adams, this obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Spring, 2011, p. 17.
Bob Andress
Bob Andress, who died on July 6, 2015, was one of the most inventive, creative planetarians ever. He prepared his special effects in the historical optical-mechanical age of planetariums, which, of course, preceded the digital age. When he needed a particular projection in one of his programs, he tinkered with bulbs, mirrors, motors, rubber bands, and metal pieces salvaged from other devices, cellophane, and an overhead projector. And voila! He had a very respectable effect. Not only were his own programs at Warrensville Heights enhanced with these creations, but he enthusiastically shared his work. Bob’s designs made their way into many other planetariums, particularly in his home Cleveland area. We C.R.A.P. (Cleveland Regional Association of Planetariums) people were delighted to adapt Bob’s ideas for our own programs.
        Bob had a wonderful sense of humor. His now-retired successor at the Warrensville Planetarium, Jim Shannon (along with some of us veteran C.R.A.P. members), recalls how Bob especially enjoyed making and hearing puns; the more groan-producing, the better!
        He was always happy and eager to participate in any and all of the projects our family of CRAP planetarians initiated. Perhaps the most memorable instance of this occurred at the 1975 GLPA Conference in Cleveland, when we held the annual banquet at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. For reasons now lost to memory, some GLPA people had performed “belly dances” at some other GLPA meetings around this time. But this inspired someone in the CRAP group to suggest that we launch our own belly dancer as “Projectra,” using a huge old Earth globe found in the storeroom of one planetarium. Bob quickly agreed to be the star of the plan. So Projectra made “her” debut at the banquet, with appropriate drumming music playing as Bob appeared in flowing robes and wearing the globe. He slowly made his way among the tables of raucously cheering and laughing delegates, gracefully dipping and gyrating. (Strangely, Projectra was never seen again!)
        Bob was an avid amateur astronomer. In addition to teaching and working as Planetarium Director at Warrensville Heights, he also hosted observing nights as a volunteer at the Hiram College Observatory, the oldest still-operating observatory in the Eastern U.S.
        He retired from Warrensville Heights Planetarium in 1983, after 30 years in teaching, and in 1988 Bob and his wife Lois moved west to Green Valley, near Tucson, Arizona. They always kept in touch with the CRAP group with Christmas cards and letters, always sorry that the distance was too far for them to attend our annual party at Jeanne’s home, or to attend regular CRAP meetings.
        Bob volunteered for many years at the Flandrau Planetarium in Tucson, and both he and Lois served as volunteer guides at the university’s world-famous telescope mirror-making facility. He was a member of the Sonora Astronomical Society, and frequently used the telescope he located in his backyard. Bob also gave telescope tours on Mount Hopkins and through a missile silo museum.
        Bob was father to three girls, with 11 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. His wife Lois says that Bob’s most noteworthy characteristics were that “he was always a gentleman, and he was always there for anyone.” Those of us who had the privilege of knowing Bob Andress both as a professional colleague and a friend remember him fondly and exactly that way.
        Submitted by Jeanne Bishop and Jon Marshall, this obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Autumn, 2015, p. 21.
Art Barton
Art Barton, the Assistant Director to the Planetarium for the Space Center in Alamogordo, New Mexico, died of a heart attack in September, 1988.
        This obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Winter, 1988, p. 7.
Zenon D. Billeaux
A Charter Member of GLPA. (Need more information)
Allan Bishop  (1942 - 2006)
Dr. Allan Bishop passed away on August 7, 2006 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.
        This obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Autumn, 2006, p. 11.
Bruce Brandle
Bruce Brandle, a former Director of the Marion High School Planetarium, died from Huntington’s disease in September of 2011.
        I recall Bruce as an active member of GLPA when I became a member in 1988. I consider Bruce as a friend and mentor, although I haven’t seen him in years. Sometime in the early 1990s, shortly after I became the state chair, Bruce volunteered to host the spring state meeting. I offered to help, but warned him that I was a newbie. Bruce’s response was “no problem, come over to Marion and we will talk.” I did so, and Bruce remembered that I had won a show kit from the Davis Planetarium at the previous GLPA conference. I laughed and said, “it’s a great prize, but I don’t know what to do with it as the Friday night observatory operator at Adler with a full-time job in another field.” Bruce’s response was “you never know, why not bring the kit with you next time. Perhaps we can put it together for a preview to show at the state meeting.”
        I took Bruce up on his offer, and we spent a few afternoons putting our version of the show together in time to run it manually at the spring meeting. It certainly wasn’t a finished product, but through this experience with Bruce, I learned basic show production, including cutting and modifying the supplied script and adding your own embellishments.
        Years passed. I lost track of Bruce when he left teaching and the planetarium for health reasons. I will always be grateful to Bruce for exhibiting the GLPA welcoming and helping attitude to me as a newcomer to the organization and the planetarium world.
        Submitted by Alan Pareis, this obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Winter, 2011, p. 15.
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 November 28, 2011 in Peoria, Illinois, 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".
         A shorter version of this obituary appered in the GLPA Newsletter, Spring, 2012, p. 10.
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 June 29, 2005, 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.
        This obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Autumn, 2005, p. 11.
Bob Ernst
Bob Ernst died on January 15, 2008 in his home in Goshen, Indiana. Bob gave the Armand Spitz Memorial Lecture in 1998. He retired from the Mishawaka school system in 2000 after 41 years as a science teacher. He also ran the planetarium for 21 years.
        Submitted by Alan Pareis, this obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Spring, 2008, p. 14.
Dan Francetic (1933 - 2014)
Daniel R. Francetic, one of the original founding members of the Cleveland Regional Association of Planetariums and former president of GLPA, passed away on August 27, 2014 in Pickerington, Ohio, where he had lived since retiring after 40 years in education, 28 of those at Euclid High School as Planetarium Director.
        Dan was born on March 29, 1933 in Clairton, Pennsylvania. Daniel was a graduate of McKeesport Tech High School in 1951, Duquesne University in 1958, and received an M.A. from Case Western Reserve University in 1968. He taught for 40 years, first in Pennsylvania at Glassport High School from 1958 to 1962 and then in Ohio at Euclid High School from 1962 to 1998, where he was a planetarium/astronomy teacher for 28 years. He was a consulting teacher for Project STAR at the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University from 1987-1990, a co-recipient of a grant from the National Science Teachers Association/Toyota Award in 1994, and a recipient of the Brennan Award from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in 1996 for outstanding contributions to the teaching of astronomy in grades 9-12. Dan was also one of four finalists for 1997 Ohio Teacher of the Year, and served as President of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association from 1998-1999. GLPA awarded Dan its Fellow and Honorary Life Member awards.
        Dan is survived by his wife of 56 years, Shirley, daughters Linda and Donna, sons Daniel and Brian, brothers Paul and David, six grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
        Dan enjoyed his family, was an avid runner and fly fisherman, an oil painter, and enjoyed reading and traveling. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the American Cancer Society.
        This obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Autumn, 2014, p. 19. An additional tribute to Dan appears on that same page.
Nancy Franklin (1924 - 2016)
Nancy Franklin, a former GLPA member from the Elgin Observatory and Planetarium, died on November 8, 2016.
        Nancy assisted with the production and mailing of the GLPA Newsletter from early 1975 until the summer of 1990. In the early years of this timespan, Nancy received the edited articles from the Newsletter Editor and literally typed, cut, and pasted them to create a master copy, which she then photocopied, collated, and mailed to GLPA members from Elgin, Illinois. During her planetarium tenure, Nancy worked under two planetarium directors (Don Tuttle and Gary Kutina), ten GLPA Presidents, and five Newsletter Editors. At the 1989 conference in Champaign, Illinois, Nancy was presented with an award of recognition for her many years of service to the organization.
        Nancy Topolewski-Franklin was born in 1924, started working at the Elgin Planetarium in 1964, and retired from there about 1990. She possessed an expertise in the visual arts that was used to enrich Don and Gary’s programming. Nancy was not only a secretary, but also answered their many telephone calls, scheduled and greeted visitors, and was an avid astronomy buff who truly loved astronomy and passing that passion to the next generation of schoolchildren.
        Nancy is survived by a daughter, three sons, and one stepdaughter, as well as 15 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Nancy was a wonderful person and a delight to work with. She will be missed.
        This obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Winter, 2016, p. 14.
George W. Girard
A Charter Member of GLPA.  (Need more information)
Maxine Haarstick
A Charter Member of GLPA. (Need more information)
Lisa Harmon
Lisa Harmon, Project Coordinator of the Spacequest Planetarium at The Children's Museum in Indianapolis, passed away January 7, 1997 of natural causes. Lisa was a tireless worker and always had a smile for you when she greeted you. She encouraged those around her to try new ideas. She wanted the planetarium to be a learning place.
        Lisa will be missed by her staff and friends. She leaves behind a husband and daughter. The Spacequest Planetarium will not be the same.
        Submitted by Dan Goins, this obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Spring, 1997, p. 8.
B.J. Harper (1939 - 2014)
Known as “The Starlady” by her high school students, GLPA member BJ Harper succumbed to her decades-long battle with Hepatitis C on May 1, 2014.
        Born in Morgantown, West Virginia, BJ was a graduate of West Virginia University with a master’s degree in Secondary Education from Indiana University. Her career as a public school teacher spanned 42 years in West Virginia, Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. She retired from Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS) in 2006 after 21 years as a science teacher at Northrop and North Side High Schools.
        At Northrop High School, BJ served as the director of the planetarium and taught astronomy for the last fourteen years of her career. Upon retiring from FWCS, she continued to serve as a volunteer in the planetariums at both Northrop High School and Wayne High School, giving tours and presentations to many students and community groups. Her Fort Wayne GLPA colleagues know that she spent many hours and months since her retirement mentoring new teachers assigned to run the Northrop and Wayne Planetariums and continued to do this until last year.
        As a lifelong educator with a passion for astronomy and archaeoastronomy, BJ was an active member of the Michigan Earth Science Teachers Association, a NASA Solar System Ambassador, and the recipient of many grants including an Eli Lily Endowment in 1996. The Lilly grant enabled her to take the first of many trips to Wales, England, Scotland, and Ireland to do research that would ultimately help her students learn about Neolithic people and their quest to understand the world based on the movement of the sun, moon, and stars. BJ’s Fort Wayne Astronomical Society colleagues will miss her presentations that kept us current on the importance of archaeoastronomy.
        As an active member of the Fort Wayne Astronomical Society, BJ served on the board for nearly 15 years, as well as in the role of vice president and program chair. She was also active with the Greenway Consortium Board, Three Rivers Woodworkers, Fort Wayne Machinists Group, and TekVenture from its inception, working with its MakerFaire and Chain Reaction Challenge.
        BJ’s husband Bob preceded her in death some years ago. Her daughter and son, a grandson, two sisters, a brother and their families survive her. The Fort Wayne astronomical community will miss her.
        Submitted by Alan Pareis, this obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Summer, 2014, p. 10.
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 R. Hays (1929 – 1991)
Donald R. Hays, 62, of Birmingham, Michigan, formerly of Bowen, died of cancer on December 21, 1991 in Birmingham.
        Born March 29, 1929, in Quincy, Mr. Hays was a son of Ralph and Leta Hays of Bowen. He was a chemist with DuPont of Flint, Michigan for five years and served in the Army at Walter Reed Hospital doing research with chemical gas. He was employed by General Motors (Tech Center) from 1960, until his retirement in 1986. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Bradley University and his Master's degree in Chemistry from Bradley in 1951.
        A member and elder of Northminster Presbyterian Church, he also was a member of the Clinton Valley Archaeology Society, and served as president of the Detroit Colour Council.  Don was a lecturer at the McMath Planetarium and a demonstrator at the Hulbert Observatory (both part time) at the Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
        Survivors include his wife, Helen E. Hays; two daughters, Kelley Hays of Flagstaff, Ariz., and Julie Healey of Chicago; his parents, Ralph and Leta Hays of Bowen; a brother, Warren of Venice, Calif. and a grandson, Robert Healey.
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.
        This obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Autumn, 2006, p. 11.
David Hoffman
On April 12, 1994, that little black cloud that always followed David Hoffman around finally caught up with him. On that day, Dave succumbed to complications of pneumonia.
        Dave for many years directed the Reiser Planetarium at the Godwin Heights High School system in a suburb of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He basically came with the instrument from Viewlex and stayed until budget cutbacks in 1981 forced him to seek employment elsewhere. For a while he directed the Carr-Fles Planetarium at Muskegon Community College (also in Michigan). At this same time, changes were taking place in his personal life. He left Muskegon because, as he told it, "I have been drafted." He spent the next few years working with the Salvation Army in Wisconsin. Upon retiring from "The Army," Dave returned to Grand Rapids for his last few years.
        Dave was a short, bald-headed character from New York who always had a smile, a joke and a short story to share. By the time he would say, "to make a long story short," it was already too late. And he sure could tell some good stories -- stories about himself, stories about the early days of the profession, and lots of stories about Viewlex. At the 1978 Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA) convention in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Dave got up in front of the whole delegation and told the following story:
        "At the Reiser Planetarium, the students were doing a show about dreams. We wanted to show the effect of going to bed and then the passage of time, so we made up this double bed military style (very tight and smooth). We carefully placed a camera in the middle of the bed and took a picture every 30 degrees. Then to show the passage of time we crumbled up the bed coverings and took another set of photos. We took the photographs and placed them into our panorama system and when we finished, we had the best looking bed pan you every saw." (Of course, when Dave told the story, it was much longer).
        So at this same GLPA convention, a group of us led by Eugene Jenneman went out and purchased a bed pan. We wrapped it up in a box with nice wrapping paper and in front of the entire delegation, Jenneman called Hoffman up for a special presentation. Of course everyone except Dave knew what was in the box. When Dave was presented with the wrapped box, he very humbly said, "I am deeply moved." That statement put the entire delegation on the floor laughing. Dave couldn't understand what was so funny. When he opened the box, he quipped, "I am very, very deeply moved." No one could beat Hoffman.
        He also told the story about his Superintendent, who was also bald. As he explained it, when they put their heads together, they would make an ass out of themselves.
        Dave was a Fellow of the International Planetarium Society and served as the Executive Editor of IPS's journal, The Planetarian, from spring of 1978 until spring of 1981. He also served GLPA in many capacities.
        Yes, Dave will be sorely missed. He helped launch a lot of planetarium careers. So when a little black cloud comes into your life, think of Dave Hoffman.
        Submitted by Gary Tomlinson, this obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Spring, 1995, p. 7.
Victor H. Hogg
A Charter Member of GLPA. (Need more information)
Doug Holt
Karl D. “Doug” Holt, who preceded current Planetarium Director Geoff Holt (no relation) at the Madison Metropolitan School District Planetarium, died on July 13, 2013 after a long battle following heart surgery.
        Doug was born and raised in Madison, where he attended Madison West High School and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During his college years, Doug joined the Army R.O.T.C. which led to his 28 1⁄2 year military career. He would later go on to flight training school to become a pilot at Fort Rucker, Alabama.
        He continued in his life as a teacher at Cherokee Middle School. Later, he taught Earth Science for a number of years at Madison West High School. After Memorial High School was built, Doug was asked to become the Planetarium Director. He retired in 1993.
        This obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Winter, 2013, p. 12.
Ruth M. Howard
A Charter Member of GLPA. (Need more information)
Steven O. Innes  (1955 - 2011)
Steven Innis passed away suddenly at home with his family on October 16, 2011, just days before that year’s GLPA Conference in Champaign, Illinois.
      Steven 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, majoring in Physics and Astronomy and graduating in 1980. Steve was an avid amateur astronomer and ATM (amateur telescope maker). He was a co-founder of the EMU student astronomy club in 1977, which remains very active today. Steve attended numerous Stellafane conventions in Vermont, built a backyard observatory, constructed several telescopes, made major repairs to the EMU Mellish 10-inch refractor telescope at Sherzer Observatory (unfortunately lost in a fire in March of 1989). He also worked for telescope supplier JMI in Colorado during the 1980s.
        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 served as Planetarium Technician at the University of Southern Maine’s Southworth Planetarium and as a technology expert at the John Mitchell Technology Center at the University of Southern Maine. 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 built models including a working Foucault pendulum at the Southworth Planetarium and was recently appointed to the post of conference photographer and election chair of MAPS. Steve was planning to attend the 2011 GLPA conference in Champaign.
        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.
        Prepared by John Schroer and Dr. Norb Vance at the Eastern Michigan Planetarium in Ypsilanti, Michigan, a version of this obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Winter, 2011, p. 15.
Dr. James B. Kaler (1938 - 2022)
University of Illinois Astronomy Professor Dr. James Kaler died on November 26, 2022. He was 83.
        Born in Albany, New York, Jim Kaler started his professional career in 1958, with appointments as a research and teaching assistant at the University of Michigan. In 1961, he worked as an astronomer with the United States Naval Observatory. Jim joined the University of Illinois faculty in 1964 after finishing his PhD at UCLA with his thesis titled Recombination Spectra of Hydrogen and Helium in Gaseous Nebulae. He was promoted to associate professor in 1968 and full professor in 1976. In 2003, he retired with emeritus status.
        Kaler was a prolific writer. He authored 19 books and more than 450 articles, ranging from astrophysics textbooks to articles explaining “why your zodiac sign is probably wrong.” He is estimated to have taught 10,000 students in his career with 7 PhD students mentored. In addition to his amazing teaching record, he was renowned locally for his frequent TV appearances, uncountable radio interviews, and developing the “World of Science” lecture series at Parkland College, which was later named in his honor. Kaler also maintained two websites — Skylights, which provided weekly information on the sights of the sky, and Stars, which featured the “Star of the Week.”
        GLPA first met Dr. Kaler in 1989, when David Linton asked him to present the Astronomy Update lecture at that year’s GLPA Conference in Champaign. The response was so positive that GLPA made him their regular Astronomy Update speaker, a position that he held through the 2008 conference in Milwaukee. In 1995, Kaler earned the GLPA Fellow award, and in 2005, he was awarded GLPA’s Honorary Life Member award. He gave the Armand Spitz Lecture at the 1999 GLPA Conference in Kalamazoo, and later delivered the Margaret Noble Address at the 2003 MAPS Conference. Jim Kaler was also the “star” of GLPA’s The StarGazer planetarium show.
        Dr. Kaler has earned many additional awards. He has held Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships. He has been awarded medals for his work from the University of Liège in Belgium and the University of Mexico. In 2003, he received the University of Illinois’ Campus Award for Excellence in Public Engagement. In 2008, he received the American Astronomical Society’s Education Prize. A classroom in the Astronomy Building at the University of Illinois was named in his honor. In 2020, he was elected a Legacy Fellow of the American Astronomical Society. Main-belt asteroid 1998 JK, discovered by the Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) program in 1998, was re-named 17851 Kaler in his honor. The official notation for that re-naming reads as follows:
James B. Kaler (b. 1938), a professor at the University of Illinois from 1976 to 2003 known for his spectroscopic research on planetary nebulae, has with books and an outstanding website also worked tirelessly to educate planetarians, teachers, students and amateur astronomers, always being available to answer their questions.

        Jim Kaler was a brilliant astrophysicist, educator, and author. He was a wonderful friend to GLPA, and he will always occupy a special place in GLPA’s history.  Submitted by Bart Benjamin, this obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Winter, 2022.
Richard Knapp
Richard Knapp, founding Manager of the Russell C. Davis Planetarium in Jackson, Mississippi and GLPA’s Spitz Lecturer in 1985, died on April 26, 2015 of pancreatic cancer.
        Knapp helped to pioneer the use of hemispheric film on the dome screen. The Davis joined three other planetariums (the Cernan Earth and Space Theater near Chicago, the Fleischmann Planetarium in Reno, and the Flandrau Planetarium in Tucson) to found Cinema-360, Inc. (later C-360, Inc.) to promote the use of hemispheric cinema (35mm, then 70mm) in dome theaters, paving the way for fulldome video. Knapp also directed the production and 1985 premiere of The Space Shuttle: An American Adventure, the first hemispheric film featuring scenes shot in and around Space Shuttles by the astronauts. The film played at dome theaters worldwide and won a Gold Medal at an international Cine Festival. He shared his experiences training astronauts in celestial navigation and cinematography during “Planetariums and the Space Program - A Perspective,” the Spitz Lecture at the 1985 Great Lakes Planetarium Conference.
        After retiring in 2001, Knapp entered a Lutheran seminary and eventually became a pastor at parishes in Louisiana and Texas before retiring from this second career. He moved to Florida and, eventually, back to North Carolina, where he spent his remaining days.
        Submitted by Gary Lazich, this obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Summer, 2015, p. 13.
Bill D. Kobel  (1927 - 2011)
Bill Kobel passed away at his home in North Ridgeville, Ohio on April 15, 2011 after a long illness.
        Bill 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.
        Bill was one of the early members of C.R.A.P. and remained very active in the group until some years ago when his health began to fail, preventing him from attending meetings with his enthusiastic regularity. Bill joined GLPA in 1970 and was a Fellow. Bill was married for 60 years and had four children and seven grandchildren.
        As Jon Marshall noted, “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.”
        Submitted by Jon Marshall and John Potts, this obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Summer, 2011, p. 16.
Dolores Kurek
Dolores Kurek, planetarium director at Lourdes College, passed away in early June of 1995 after a long battle with cancer.
        Dolores had directed the Copernicus Planetarium for several years in addition to a heavy teaching load. She hosted the Ohio spring meeting in 1992 and was a major organizer of Toledo area science fairs for many years. Dolores brought a spirit of determination and enthusiasm to everything she did and will be missed by her many colleagues and students.
        This obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Autumn, 1995, p. 6.
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.
Art Lusty
Long time GLPA member Art Lusty from Orangeburg, South Carolina died of bone cancer on July 8, 1990. Art is remembered for many things, not the least of which was his obtaining our GLPA banner. "He loved the stars so much, and maybe now knows some answers."
        Submitted by Lois Lusty, this obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Autumn, 1990, p. 7.
Jerry Mansfield (1946 - 2013)
Jerry Mansfield, former Director of the Allen Planetarium in Terre Haute, Indiana died on November 24, 2013 after a long fight with prostate cancer. Jerry was a science teacher, a friend, a GLPA member, and well known to many in both the museum and planetarium field. Jerry served for many years as the curator of the GLPA’s Audio Visual Slide and Tape Bank.
         A fellow Indiana planetarium director just a two hour drive away, Jerry and I became good friends. We traveled to many state and regional meetings together and engaged in many museum projects over the years. After retiring from the planetarium field in the 1990’s, Jerry co- founded the Children’s Museum of Terre Haute, one of the most popular attractions in east central Indiana. Jerry and his wife Diane operated a therapeutic horseback riding program for children with disabilities out of their home, which enriched many lives.
        Submitted by Mitch Luman, this obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Spring, 2014, p. 14.
Walt Mitchell
Dr. Walter E. Mitchell, Jr., retired from the planetarium and Astronomy Department at Ohio State University, passed away on July 26, 1996 after a lingering illness. He was 70.
        Originally native to Franklin, Massachusetts, Walt served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Infantry during WWII, where he was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge. He graduated from Tufts University, the University of Virginia and obtained his Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Michigan. He joined the faculty of OSU in 1957 and served the university until his retirement in 1991.
        Walt was an active participant in GLPA conferences and state meetings for many years. In 1989, he hosted the Ohio spring meeting at Perkins Observatory and gave us a memorable day of exhibits, papers, talks and tours all set amidst the verdant observatory grounds. Walt combined the knowledge of the research astronomer and the teaching spirit of the planetarian. He was a kind man who taught his students the rigor of astronomical research and his audiences the love of the sky. He will be missed by all who knew him.
        Submitted by Dale Smith, this obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Winter, 1996, p. 9.
Roy Morris
(Need more information)
Thomas H. Osgood
A Charter Member of GLPA. (Need more information)
Alan J. Peche (1964 - 2021)
Alan J. Peche, who has served as Director of the Barlow Planetarium on the Fox Cities campus of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh since 2008, died at his home in Appleton, Wisconsin on June 12, 2021 after a four-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was a devoted father, husband and friend. He was 56.
        Alan was born on December 30, 1964 in Wausau, Wisconsin to Leonard & Rosella (Holbach) Peche. He grew up in Medford and attended UW-Eau Claire where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in Math & Physics Education. He credited professors at Eau Claire with fostering his love of science and astronomy and making him the teacher he was.
        Alan moved to Baton Rouge where he met his wife, Janet Barklage, while working as the Planetarium Educator for the Louisiana Arts & Science Center. They married on April 30, 1993 and relocated to Tampa, Florida where he was the Planetarium Director at the Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) and a physics teacher. He moved to Appleton in 2008 as the Director for the Barlow Planetarium. Throughout his career he shared his love of science, astronomy and space exploration with all ages as well as designing/renovating several planetariums.
        Alan is survived by his wife and two daughters, Olivia and Amelia. He was the proudest father and always said they were the best thing he ever did and the two bravest people he’d ever known. He is also survived by his beloved cat, Watson who remained loyally by his side and his wife’s cat, Kai, who continued to ignore him.
        Alan expressed his deep appreciation to the friends and family who reconnected with him over the last weeks of his life to reminisce and allow him to share how much you meant to him.
“You — You alone will have stars as no one else has them . . . In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night. You, only you, will have stars that can laugh! And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me. . . You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure. . .”
from The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
        According to Alan’s wishes; a celebration of his life was held at the UWO at Fox Cities Communication Arts Center in Menasha on July 30, 2021. A second celebration of life was held at MOSI in Tampa, Florida on August 12, 2021. Alan wanted these to be casual parties to share happy memories with family and friends and his request was for us to carry on without him, he will be there in spirit.
        Alan also wished that in lieu of flowers, friends should please consider supporting his last project, which was the renovation of the Barlow Planetarium, specifically the planetarium’s NextGen project through the UW-Fox Cities Foundation.
Ken Perkins (1925 - 2017)
Kenneth E. Perkins, 91, formerly of St. Petersburg, Florida and Vandalia, Ohio, passed away on June 2, 2017 in Lake Wales, Florida.
        He was born on July 2, 1925 in Hamilton, Ohio to G.H. and Fannie (Coyle) Perkins. He married Edna (Straub) in 1950 and they had two daughters, Tammie and Cyndi.
        An alumnus of Dayton Stivers High School, Mr. Perkins was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and served during WWII. He graduated from Miami (Ohio) University and Penn State University. In 1952, Mr. Perkins began his teaching career as a science teacher in Fairfield, Ohio and in 1958 moved to Vandalia, Ohio where he taught science, astronomy, and served as the planetarium director with the Vandalia-Butler Schools until his retirement in 1980. While at Morton Junior High, he was the Scien-Teens advisor and took many groups to Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum. Ken and Edna moved to Florida when he was invited to become the planetarium director at St. Petersburg Junior College. He retired from there in 1994.
        Ken was involved in several professional education organizations and his other activities included Boys Scouts, Lions Club, Jolly Jet Camping Club, and Young at Heart. Ken was director at several Boy Scout camps, the Dayton Area Diabetic Association Camp and Assistant Director at Camp Thunderbird. He also looked forward to driving the shuttle tractor at the Trapshoot each summer. He enjoyed camping and traveling with his family and especially enjoyed his mission trip (at age 73) sponsored by Heart to Honduras. He was a devout Christian, and he willingly shared his beliefs and prayers with others.
        Ken is survived by two daughters, two grandsons, two great grandchildren, a sister, a half- brother, stepsister, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, a sister, a son-in-law, two nephews, and several in-laws.
        This obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Autumn, 2017, p. 22.
George Reed
Longstanding GLPA member George Reed died on August 2, 2016. George was the Spitz Lecturer in 1984 and was made a Fellow in 1995.
        The following is "George’s Story," which was originally published by the Washoe County School District Volunteer Services on February 24, 2012 and reprinted on page 28 of the Spring, 2017 GLPA Newsletter:
        "George Reed was ten years old when his five year old brother, Walter, died of leukemia. He was 12 years old when his 31 year old pregnant mother, Claire, died of asthma and pneumonia. He was 13 years old when his 37 year old father, George Sr., died of heart problems.
        His father was not always employed because of his health problems, so before his father’s death, he and his father lived alone and existed primarily on home cooked meals of fried spam, canned potatoes, and visits to one of his sister’s homes around dinner time. Those nights were often followed by trips to movie theaters to watch the double feature western and war films that his father loved. School was only a daytime event at that time, so his grades were nothing to brag about or hang on the refrigerator.
        Things were difficult during those years together. George’s shoes often contained homemade cardboard inserts to compensate for the holes that occurred due to wear in the soles. It was only because of visits to his grandmother and her taking him to restaurants that he learned table manners.
        After his father died, he went to live full-time with an aunt and uncle. This was not a new experience. He had already lived with them part-time during periods when his parents separated, and after his mother died when his father was often taken to the hospital because of recurring heart problems. He was grateful for being taken in, but never felt a real part of the family as the family eventually grew to include six other children. Always feeling a great sense of responsibility, he tried to support himself as much as possible by any employment he could find. In grammar and middle school, these jobs included carrying groceries to a customer’s home in a wagon from a local supermarket, tossing daily and Sunday newspapers on a bike route, and carrying heavy golf bags for 18 holes as a caddy. When people learned of these years, they often asked who raised George. His answer was always “I did.”
        George’s new home at age 13 was in the city of Philadelphia rather than the suburbs of Philadelphia. This introduced him to new and different friends and opportunities. Alcohol became available at parties. Movie theaters could be entered quickly through exit doors without paying. Pizzas were free at a back door or window if you knew the owner’s daughter, and so were things in other stores, even if you didn’t know the owner’s daughter. Being short and thin was also an advantage for sneaking in the back doors of trolley cars and buses, and on rides at amusement parks. He didn’t participate in all these activities, but two of his new friends who did were in jail before they graduated from high school. The one thing he did do, and never regretted, was to use his somewhat free public transportation to visit the free museums and historic places in the city of Philadelphia.
        A move back to the Philadelphia suburbs at the time he entered high school changed things again, including a better selection of friends. But the family environment didn’t change. There was little interest in where he was or what he was doing. Not that he was doing anything wrong; it was just the lack of family interest that bothered him. There were no rules. But now he had a better job, he was working in a supermarket 20 to 25 hours a week while going to high school. His grades improved. His interest in education improved. Guess what he became: 1) a police officer, 2) a homeless vagrant, 3) a supermarket manager, 4) a public employee, 5) a truck driver, 6) a waiter, 7) a university professor, 8) a bus driver, 9) an airline pilot, or 10) a person sitting near you.
        The answer? He became a very popular and successful science teacher, first at the high school level and then as an astronomy professor at the university level. Among the many awards he received during his career was a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Distinguished Teaching Chair. This identified him as one of the five best professors in the thirteen Pennsylvania State Universities. After his retirement, he was selected by the university as an Emeritus Professor. In the world of baseball this was equivalent to a state MVP (most valuable player) award and almost an induction to a university’s Hall of Fame.
        This change in his life between adolescence and adulthood was brought about by his working in a supermarket. First, it exposed him to many college and university students who were also part-time supermarket employees. Conversations with college students introduced him to exciting new intellectual ideas and future employment possibilities that he had never dreamed about before. He decided to expand his education beyond high school. He was the first in his family to ever think about going to college.
        College also created the desire to have a more challenging future employment where a clock moved too fast rather than too slow. But his supermarket employment and experience did provide him with the financial means to live alone off campus while attending college. But money still had to be borrowed to complete his senior year of college. It took ten years to pay the student bank loan back.
        George’s ultimate success was dependent upon his marrying the right person. His wife has always been his best friend. She read, critiqued, and helped edit all his newspaper and article writing efforts and book projects over the years. George wrote and used his own cartoons for twenty-two and a half years in his newspaper column about his favorite subject: astronomy and the history of astronomy. But most of all, his wife always encouraged him, and often believed in his abilities more than he did. His life would have been immensely less interesting and productive without her. And together they produced the caring family with three children and eventually five grandchildren that he always wanted. He accepted an offer of early retirement from West Chester University in 1995 and moved to Reno, Nevada to be closer to his three adult children and his grandchildren.
        He now serves as a volunteer cartoonist and science teacher with a wonderful new family of excited fourth and third graders every year at the Libby Booth Elementary School in Reno, Nevada. His wife Joan serves as a volunteer with physically and mentally handicapped children for the Marvin Piccolo School horse program. She also helps George with his Libby Booth kids when needed.
        In January of 2012, Dr. George Reed and his wife Joan were proclaimed exceptional volunteer teachers for the 2011-2012 school year by the Washoe County School District, Board of Trustees, and Brian Sandoval, the Governor of the State of Nevada."
        There are additional tributes to George that appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Spring, 2017, p. 27.
David Sanford (1940 - 1988)
Dave Sanford died on May 19, 1988. The following tribute by Jeanne Bishop appeared on page 9 of the GLPA Newsletter, Autumn, 1988:
        "Dave Sanford was one of the most positive people I have known. His caring and polite manner never seemed to flag. I am aware that over about twenty years while Planetarium Director at Shaker Heights School District, he built up a comprehensive program for elementary and secondary visits. His work also included carefully planned visits to elementary classes.
        I will remember Dave for a number of professional contributions: serving as Secretary to our Cleveland Regional Association of Planetarians for over ten years, hosting a number of Cleveland area meetings at Shaker Heights, sharing a fine secondary program on African mythology (still available from the GLPA script bank), and last, but not least, presenting programs with a strong basis in learning philosophy and employing a variety of media as well to make school presentations as fine as possible.
        I had the good fortune to see two programs that Dave gave this past year. While serving on the Shaker Heights High School North Central Visiting Team (with committees that included planetarians Jon Marshall and Rod Thompson), I sat in on a first grade program and a fourth grade program. In each, Dave interacted with the children in a very pleasant and encouraging manner that seemed to instill a sense of wonder and respect for him, the subject, and the planetarium facility. The programs were not over-loaded with concepts, but rather focused on grade-appropriate ideas that were presented in a variety of ways. Dave was an excellent teacher!
        I will miss him very much."

        There are additional tributes to David that appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Autumn, 1988, pp. 9 - 12.
Martha Schaefer (1913 - 2009)
Martha C. Schaefer died on February 27, 2009.
        Born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Martha worked for many years at the McMath Planetarium of the Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. From Ray Bullock of the Cranbrook Institute of Science:
        “Martha was an amazing and delightful person. She sparked my interest in astronomy when I was in the 7th grade and went on a field trip to the planetarium. Later she changed the course of my life; she was directly responsible for my working at that planetarium. Her guidance and mentoring helped me to sharpen my skills, and some of her techniques live on in my presentations today. Martha was unflappable. When the meteor projector failed during a show, she used the pointer to improvise a meteor shower. When a planet on the original planetarium projector burned out, without missing a beat she explained it must have disappeared behind a cloud. Individual planets didn’t burn out with the new planetarium projector, but the star lamp was prone to falling out of its mount. Improvising when the universe abruptly went dark was more of a challenge! We had great fun (as well as frustration) learning to operate that new projector. I was saddened to learn of Martha’s passing, but I find solace in the wealth of wonderful memories I have from knowing her.”
William Schultz (1904 – 1975)
A Charter Member of GLPA. William Schultz, Jr., 70, died April 23, 1975 in St. Joseph Hospital in Pontiac after an operation for an aortal aneurysm.
        He was born in Rogers City, Michigan on April 27, 1904, the fifth of nine children in a family of modest means. In high school he was captain of the basketball team and founded the local Boy Scout troop. After high school he worked to raise the money needed for him to attend the University of Michigan. To do so, he worked as a type setter at the local newspaper and as an electrician at the local calcite plant. At college he played French Horn in the famous University of Michigan marching band. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1930 with a degree in electrical engineering and later received a Master’s in Education in 1938.
        After graduation, Schultz joined the world-famous Cranbrook educational community in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan as a teacher in 1930. Schultz was truly a modern renaissance man. He taught general science, mechanical drawing, chemistry, physics and was chair of the science department from 1938 to 1969 when he retired. In addition to teaching, he coached soccer, golf, track, and varsity basketball. He was also the advisor to the radio club, rifle club, model club, and the school band. He directed the Cranbrook Kingswood Summer Day Camp which he founded. Outside of Cranbrook he operated his own printing press, was president of the Detroit Astronomical Society, belonged to the local Chrysanthemum and mineralogical societies and was a ham radio enthusiast. His son Robert recalls that the family’s first TV was one that someone tossed out and that his father repaired. It lasted for many years afterwards.
        Shortly after joining Cranbrook, Schultz took on the task of supervising the relocation of their 6” Fecker refractor that had been poorly housed in a tower observatory attached to one of the school buildings. Nearby smoke stacks and the convection of heated air rising from the building’s poorly insulation roof, spoiled the views through the telescope and caused ice buildup inside the dome. It was decided to move the telescope to a new home, the Hulbert Observatory, attached to the new Cranbrook Institute of Science. With the telescope relocation, Schultz became the resident astronomer for the Institute of Science.
Sometime in the early 1950s Schultz decided it would be a good idea to provide a planetarium experience to his students. At the time there were no planetariums in the entire state of Michigan. And even the new Spitz planetarium was beyond his meager budget. So, he set out to build his own pin-hole planetarium projector. This “45 cent” projector was made from a cardboard icosahedron and used a 6-volt incandescent lantern type bulb with a small filament and two sheets of 22 inch by 28-inch, black, light weight cardboard. He spent some 100 hours plotting the star pinholes and piercing the cardboard with various sized needles heated red-hot so that the pinholes had smooth edges and would not fill in with time. The projector had adjustable latitude and could show diurnal motion. Dime store metal funnels were converted into dome lights.
        In addition to classroom use, Schultz employed his planetarium as a substitute sky in the Hulbert Observatory on cloudy nights so that the otherwise disappointed public would have something celestial to look at. These ad hoc planetarium shows in the observatory on cloudy nights greatly helped drum up support for building the McMath planetarium with its Spitz A1 projector. Schultz’s planetarium was demonstrated at the 1958 symposium, “Planetaria and Their Use for Education” held at Cranbrook and is described in the proceedings of that meeting which are available on the IPS web site. In 1945 he became Associate in Astronomical Education at the Cranbrook Institute of Science, where he was instrumental in the local popularization of astronomy. In 1973 he supervised the installation of the new Spitz 512 projector in the institute's McMath planetarium, and the construction of a new planetarium in Rodger's City, Michigan (his home town) to house Cranbrook's retired Spitz A-I.  In 1973, he became coordinator of the Cranbrook Institute of Science planetarium and observatory. Mr. Schultz was a former president of the Detroit Astronomical Society and a member of the Catalpa Amateur Radio Society, the Greater Detroit Chrysanthemum Society, the Michigan Mineralogical Society as well as the Warren Astronomical Society. He was survived by his wife, Dorothy K., three sons, Richard F., Robert W. and David P., three brothers, one sister and six grandchildren. By his own request, Mr. Schultz's body was given to the University of Michigan Medical School.
Howard Schriever  (1927 - 2010)
Howard Schriever, 83, of Rochester, Minnesota passed away peacefully on 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 Planetarium 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.”
        Submitted by Larry Mascotti, Mayo High School Planetarium, this obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Summer, 2010, p. 13.
John Schroer (1956 - 2014)
John Schroer, longtime member and former president of GLPA, passed away on July 14, 2014 from complications of diabetes. John was 57.
        John was originally hospitalized in Detroit at the beginning of 2013. Eventually, he went to stay with his brother Ron in the Cincinnati area while he fought to recover. John’s sister reports that he was comfortable and pain free when he passed. A Memorial Mass was held for John on Saturday, July 26 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Fairfield, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, the family preferred donations in John’s name to the American Diabetes Association.
        John was awarded the GLPA Fellow award in 2002 and served as GLPA President in 2010-2011. There have been many tributes to John on his Facebook page and on planetarium- and astronomy-related online groups.
        There are additional tributes to John that appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Autumn, 2014, p. 15 - 16.
William Schultz
A Charter Member of GLPA. (Need more information)
Lee Simon
Dr. Lee Will Simon of Novato, California died of leukemia on January 18, 2000 at Kaiser Hospital in San Rafael. He was 59.
        A native of Evanston, Illinois, Dr. Simon earned his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Northwestern University. He was program director at Chicago's Adler Planetarium until coming to California in 1976 to become Director of Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences. He relinquished that post in 1984 following a stroke. He is survived by his wife, Mary Jo, and three adult sons, John, Dan, and Steve.
        The Planetarium field has lost a dear colleague, and those who knew him have lost a mentor, a visionary, and a friend. Our deepest and sincerest condolences are extended to Lee's family.
        This obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Spring, 2000, p. 10.
Dan Snow
A Charter Member of GLPA. (Need more information)
Norman Sprague
Newton G. Sprague, the first director of the Ball State University Planetarium, passed away on September 18, 1998 at the age of 84.
        He entered the planetarium field in the late 1960s when he monitored the construction of the university's planetarium and observatory. Like many in that time period, he had to be a pioneer to develop and explore ways to use the planetarium in the school environment. During his time as the director and a member of the University faculty he shared what he had learned with his students.
        Several of these are in the planetarium field and have been key figures in organizations such as the Great Lakes Planetarium Association. He always made an extra effort to assist those students long after they graduated. This was true even during his retirement. Those of us who knew him will miss his kindness and his sense of humor.
        Submitted by Dr. Ronald Kaitchuck, former student of Newton Sprague and Director of the Ball State University Planetarium, this obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Winter, 1998, p. 9.
Duane Douglas Stanley  (1921 - 2009)
Duane Douglas Stanley, 87, died May 18, 2009 in Indianapolis. Born October 30, 1921 in Neillsville, Wisconsin, 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, Wisconsin, 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.
        This obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Spring, 2010, p. 16.
Dr. Eileen M. Starr (1940 – 2020)
Eileen Starr died on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at age 80 from cardiac arrest after bouts with COVID-19 and a broken leg.
        Originally from Lakewood, Ohio, Eileen graduated from Lakewood High School where she received the Selzer Award for Biology. Eileen's first love was rocks, which led her to the Cleveland (Ohio) Museum of Natural History as a student volunteer and a chance to work at the planetarium. Dan Snow taught her there to prepare glass slides and to appreciate the night sky. She helped with the NSF funded symposium Planetariums and their use for Education held at the museum in 1960.
        Her museum experience in Cleveland led her to a job in 1958 as the first student planetarium presenter at the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum of Natural History’s new planetarium featuring a Spitz A-1 projector.
        Eileen credits her tenure at the U-M Museum of Natural History for directing the course of her life, which included working as either a planetarium director or as an earth science teacher. At Michigan she earned a B.S. in General Science with minors in Earth Science and Geography. She was awarded a Sloane Foundation Fellowship to earn her Master's Degree in Earth Science in 1963.
        After teaching junior high school in Richmond, Indiana and Hershey, Pennsylvania, she became the Planetarium Director at the William Penn Memorial Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1966 when their new Spitz A3P was installed in the new building.
        Eileen was a founding member of MAPS (Middle Atlantic Planetarium Association) and hosted a MAPS conference. She also attended GLPA (Great Lakes Planetarium Association) conferences. In 1970 she attended the first meeting of what would eventually be the International Planetarium Society at Michigan State University’s Abrams Planetarium.
        Eileen was among a new breed of young people operating small planetariums. This group tended to be in the minority at planetarium conferences and many of them bonded together to see what techniques from the "big” planetariums could be modified for use in the smaller ones. Friendships lasting more than thirty-five years began with such pioneers in the small planetarium field as Armand Spitz, Margaret Nobel, Maxine Haarstick, Phyllis Pitluga, Ian McLennan, David DeBruyn, Alan Friedman, Von Del Chamberlain and Jeanne Bishop.
        A move to Wisconsin saw her become the Supervising Teacher of the Planetarium for the Milwaukee Public Schools and then Director of the University of Wisconsin’s Milwaukee Planetarium. She was also Planetarium Director at the Jacksonville (FL) Children's Museum, now the Jacksonville Museum of Arts and Sciences.
        Upon moving to the Washington, DC area Eileen taught junior high and high school earth science in Rockville Maryland. A move to Spokane Washington brought her to Eastern Washington University in Cheney where she directed the planetarium and was also t he Director of the downtown Spokane Eastern Washington Science Center. She received three National Endowment for the Humanities Grants to produce a Humanities and the Stars planetarium curriculum that was distributed nationwide. She was also a lecturer at the Spitz Summer Institute.
        Eileen completed her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with a Doctoral Minor in Geology at Washington State University in 1992 and accepted a position at Valley City (ND) State University to teach earth science and to be the planetarium director there. While in North Dakota she wrote, produced and distributed "Navigating with Lewis and Clark" a nationally distributed planetarium program for small planetariums. She created the Lewis and Clark Celestial Navigation and the Maya cylinders for Star Lab. Eileen retired from Valley City State University as Professor Emeritus of Science in 2002 but continued to teach portable planetarium workshops for teachers.
        Eileen published a number of books including Meteorites Found in Pennsylvania; Vanished Explorers: A Tale about the First Americans; Star Myths of Northern Cultures; Heiltsuk Northwest Coast Explorers: A Tale about the First Americans Living on the Channel Islands of California.
Elizabeth (Betsy) Stiles Knight (1960 - 2017)
Former planetarian Elizabeth (Betsy) Stiles Knight passed away from cancer on January 15, 2017. While earning a B.S. in environmental science and journalism at Butler University, Betsy developed a lifelong love of astronomy after viewing Saturn through a telescope at Butler University’s observatory.
        After college, she worked for several years at the Cernan Earth & Space Center in River Grove, Illinois and the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, writing and producing planetarium shows and giving astronomy classes and lectures. She met her husband Dan under the stars inside the dome of the Adler Planetarium, and after she married, they both left Illinois for Seattle, Washington. In her new western home, she earned a Master of Library and Information Science at the University of Washington and managed the Challenger Learning Center, a space education program at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. Her love of science and learning eventually led her to become a science teacher, a science librarian, and an archivist. She worked in several university libraries and archives over the years, including a five-year stretch at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, an institution she dearly loved.
        Although her love of astronomy began with a view of a planet, galaxies and cosmology were her true passion. Until shortly before her death, she continued to observe galaxies with her 13.1 inch Dobsonian telescope. Using only a star chart and her trusty Telrad finder, she tracked down all of the Messier objects as well as 221 Herschel galaxies.
        Aside from her interest in science and astronomy, Betsy also loved ballet, poetry, running, and hiking. She visited over 25 countries in her life, including two years of Peace Corps service in Western Samoa and a year in Ecuador, where she served as librarian and archivist at the Charles Darwin research station in the Galapagos Islands.
        She is survived by her brother Bob and her husband of 25 years, Daniel Knight.
From Bart Benjamin: "One of my best decisions as Director of the Cernan Center was to hire Betsy Stiles to succeed me as Space Center Assistant. She was a gifted writer, skilled public speaker, and show producer. Audiences and colleagues loved her for her warmth, her energetic smile, and her enthusiastic love of astronomy. After moving to Seattle, Betsy visited the Cernan Center staff several times, most recently in June of 2015. She kept the severity of her illness private, and we were shocked and deeply saddened by the news of her passing at such a young age. She will be missed by the many people whose life was touched by her."
        This obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Spring, 2017, p. 41.
Donald E. Tuttle  (1920 - 2010)
A Charter Member of GLPA, Don Tuttle passed away on August 29, 2010.
        He was born July 22, 1920 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.
        The following article appeared in the Elgin Courier-News on August 31, 2010 and was forwarded to GLPA by Peggy Hernandez of the Elgin Observatory/Planetarium:
ELGIN -- Don Tuttle, who taught generations of Elgin area school children about astronomy, died Sunday at the age of 90.
Tuttle's wife, Carol, said her husband had surgery last Wednesday for a hematoma but never recovered.
        The couple had been married for 61 years and had three grown children and six grandchildren. The two met at Carleton College in Minnesota, where Carol was a math major.
        Her husband, who was from Medford, Minn., "started out as a theology major with the intention of becoming a minister, but in his second year he went back to science," Carol said. Courses in astronomy had him hooked on the subject, she noted.
        The couple's first Illinois residence was in Lombard, recalled Carol, who grew up in Hinsdale. After holding several other jobs, Don, who had served in the U.S. Navy, took a part-time job at WEPS, the Elgin public school radio station.
        Shortly thereafter, in 1960, Tuttle came to his life's calling after School District U-46 bought the former Elgin National Watch Co. observatory on Watch Street in Elgin. Legendary for his sense of humor and for always wearing something plaid, he oversaw that facility and its offerings until 1985, teaching thousands of youngsters about his passion, as well as hosting annual Christmas-time "Star of Bethlehem" shows for the public.
        "He touched a lot of people," Carol said.
        Don even may have seen a UFO. Although she couldn't recall the exact date, Carol said that one time at the planetarium, he noticed something unusual in the skies. He showed a police officer, and the two decided it was best not to say anything about the unusual observation.
        More importantly, Tuttle inspired others to study the skies. Those students included Hal Getzelman, who graduated from Elgin High School in 1972 and who went on to careers with the U.S. Air Force and NASA. Carol said Getzelman still uses a telescope with a lens he ground in a class her husband taught on Saturday mornings.
        Don also ran an after-school junior astronomy program at the planetarium, which was added to the observatory by 1963, and a program for gifted students. After retiring from U-46, Tuttle continued to teach astronomy at Elgin Community College until December 2007, when he retired again at age 87. In 2009, he returned to ECC to teach a free "Astronomy for Fun" class one night a week. He also kept busy in his later years by making quilts to be sent to places in all 50 states.
        In 2009, Tuttle told The Courier-News that "One cannot be a serious student of astronomy, look at all the order in the cosmos, and not believe in a superhuman creator. What is amazing is the fact that such a creator is also interested in me."
        This obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Autumn, 2010, p. 25.
Ayne Vandenbrook (1965 - 1989)
It is with great sadness that the planetarium staff at Illinois State University announces the November 7, 1989 death of Ayne VandenBrook.
        Ayne's affiliation with the ISU Planetarium began during the autumn of 1983 as a freshman student lecturer. Moving from sky lectures to show production and presentation, Ayne was a valuable asset to the planetarium. She helped handle the many extra Comet Halley shows during the autumn and winter of 1985/86, often working late into the night. Her efforts were entirely voluntary.
        During her tenure at Illinois State, Ayne contributed more than 500 hours of service to the community through the planetarium. She actively participated in developing a student volunteer program at the planetarium. She also was involved with GLPA, having made several presentations at the annual conferences in years past.
        In the autumn of 1988, Illinois State University conferred upon Ayne the title of Bone Student Scholar and included the rare additional accolade "with distinction." The title of Bone Student Scholar is the highest honor paid by the university to undergraduates and is used to recognize the brightest and most promising students. The award is granted in recognition of scholarship, leadership, and community service. Ayne graduated Summa Cum Laude in December, 1988.
        As an undergraduate, Ayne was granted two six-month fellowships at Oak Ridge National Labs in Tennessee. There she became deeply interested in environmental chemistry and water pollution. This interest spurred her on to graduate study at the University of Wisconsin, where she had remained until most recently.
        Ayne was deeply involved in the Twin City Amateur Astronomers club of Bloomington/Normal and, even with a severe congenital eye defect, was able to complete all the observations necessary to receive the Astronomical League's Messier Certificate.
        Ayne was a person who developed all of her talents to the fullest and gave of herself without reservation. To all who knew her, Ayne was a real joy. She was consistently cheerful, optimistic, and wonderful to be around. Her smile will be deeply missed.
        Submitted by Carl J. Wenning, Director of the Physics Department and Planetarium, Illinois State University, this obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Winter, 1989, p. 8.
Alton Yarian
Alton Yarian died January 26, 2013 at the age of 103.
        Alton was the Planetarium Director at Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Ohio beginning in the 1960s. He was also a GLPA Charter Member, attending the 1965 meeting at Grand Rapids, Michigan. David DeBruyn, the host of that meeting and GLPA’s first Historian, recalls “I’ll never forget Alton Yarian’s demonstration using a fisheye lens projected against the slightly domed surface of the Pantlind’s ballroom ceiling.”
        Alton was a frequent writer for the NSTA journal, The Science Teacher. He was a recipient of one of the National Science Teacher’s top honors, the STAR Award, five different times. He was much-loved by his students. In one Cleveland Plain Dealer obituary, a former student writes, “Alton Yarian – a great teacher and mentor. You inspired me as a student to excel no matter what I did. I have so many wonderful memories of the Planetarium and Astronomy Club. Every time I look at the night sky I will think of you. The world has lost a great and wonderful teacher.”
        Alton came to many of my Christmas parties. My husband Allan would pick him up and take him home, as his eyesight was failing. Yet, he could see well enough to read, and often he would share one of his humorous poems with the group. He had a wonderful sense of humor, presenting me with a talking Christmas tree one year and handing out fake eyeballs to everyone in another. Younger people loved to talk with him and gain from his experience and gracious point of view. Even at the end of his life, those at the Kemper Nursing Home honored him for his optimism and friendliness. We will miss this very fine human being.
        Submitted by Jeanne Bishop, this obituary appeared in the GLPA Newsletter, Spring, 2013, p. 15.