Peter Smitka the founder of Mag1 Instruments passed away a few days ago from complications related to leukemia. He popularized the porta ball telescopes. These telescopes are similar to regular dobsonians but ride on a ball type mount with no axis. He made numerous appearances at old astrofest and once gave a talk at our astronomy club the Northwest Suburban Astronomers. He later sold the company but his innovations in telescope building live on today. RIP Peter.
There is a thread here.
Peter was a great guy and will be missed.