Obituaries

Obituaries

OSA mourns the passing of these distinguished colleagues.

Robert Hilbert
December 11, 2008

In Memoriam: Robert Hilbert, 1941-2008 Robert Hilbert, President and Chief Executive Officer of Optical Research Associates (ORA®) and an OSA member since 1960, died on December 11, 2008, in Pasadena, California, USA. He was 67. Hilbert, who had been ORA’s President and CEO since 2000, was a dynamic and respected leader who was actively involved in all aspects of ORA busi...


James L. Fergason
December 09, 2008

OSA mourns the loss of James L. Fergason, pioneer in liquid crystal displays Photo by Chris Conroy James L. Fergason, an OSA Fellow known as the father of the modern liquid crystal industry, died on December 9, 2008. He was 74. Fergason was born in Wakenda, Mo.and attended the University of Missouri. After graduating with a B.S. in physics in 1956, he joine...


Robert Fredric Rowntree
October 17, 2008

IN MEMORIAM: ROBERT FREDRIC ROWNTREE, 1930-2008 Robert Fredric Rowntree, an OSA Fellow Emeritus and a member of the Society since 1956, died peacefully of old age at SunnyBrook Assisted Living in Fairfield, IA on Friday, October 17th, 2008 He was 78 years old. Rowntree was born in Columbus, Ohio, on February 8, 1930. He was the only child of Richardson Henry Rowntree and Marjorie Priscel...


Ralph R. Jacobs
August 29, 2008

OSA Mourns the Loss of Ralph R. Jacobs Dr. Ralph R. Jacobs, an OSA Fellow who had a long career as a laser scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, California, USA, died in his sleep at home on August 29, 2008. He was 65. Jacobs died just one week after his retirement from LLNL on August 21, 2008, and two days after his engagement to Esther Ailor. Jac...


Leno S. Pedrotti
August 19, 2008

OSA Mourns Leno S. Pedrotti Leno S. Pedrotti, an OSA Fellow Emeritus and an OSA member for nearly 40 years, died on August 19, 2008 after a battle with cancer. He was 81. Pedrotti was an Emeritus Professor of Physics at the Air Force Institute of Technology and Emeritus Chief Scientist and Emeritus Senior Vice President at the Center for Occupational Research & Development (CORD) in ...


Edmond M. Reeves
August 08, 2008

In memoriam: Edmond M. Reeves 1934-2008 Edmond M. Reeves, an OSA Fellow and retired chief scientist with NASA, died August 8, 2008 of cancer in Arlington, Virginia. He was 74. Reeves joined NASA in 1982. He served as chief of the astrophysics payloads branch on space shuttle efforts and as chief scientist for NASA's space station unit. From 1993 until his retirement in 1998, he was d...


Jean M. Bennett
July 18, 2008

OSA MOURNS THE LOSS OF JEAN M. BENNETT, OSA'S FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT Jean M. Bennett, an OSA Past President and Fellow Emeritus, died on July 18, 2008 in Ridgecrest, California after a long illness. She was 78. A highly decorated research physicist who was recognized for her contributions to the studies of optical surfaces, Bennett was OSA's first female president. Jean Bennett...


Robert F. Wagner
June 30, 2008

OSA Remembers Robert F. Wagner Robert F. Wagner, an OSA Fellow noted for his achievements in medical imaging, died on June 30, 2008. He was 70. Dr. Wagner was a distinguished research physicist and member of the Senior Biomedical Research Service in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). His career was dedicated to the development ...


William R. Bennett, Jr.
June 29, 2008

OSA Remembers Fellow Emeritus William R. Bennett, Jr. William R. Bennett, Jr., co-inventor of the first gas laser and an OSA Fellow Emeritus, died on June 29, 2008 of cancer of the esophagus at his home in Haverford, Pa. He was 78. In 1960, Bennett, Ali Javan and Donald Herriott built the first gas laser (the helium-neon laser) at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J. Bennett also disc...


Warren J. Smith
June 19, 2008

OSA Mourns the Loss of Warren J. Smith Warren J. Smith, Chief Scientist Emeritus at Rockwell Collins Kaiser Electro-Optics and a Fellow and past president of OSA, died on June 19, 2008. An OSA member for 65 years, Smith was renowned for his contributions to optical system design and lens design and for his accomplishments as a writer and educator. Smith was a graduate of the Institute o...