Did you notice how the stars seemed to burn a little less brightly last night? I fear that it is due to the fact that the astronomical world has lost a great artisan as well as a vibrant spirit. It is with a heavy heart that I inform all of you of the passing away of Howie Glatter late last night after a short but intense battle with cancer. Howie’s contributions to the field of astronomy and, in particular, to the art of collimation was priceless and he will be greatly missed by all of us. His attention to detail and his unswerving adherence to tolerances far beyond the norm allowed him to create a product that, to this very day, has seen no equal.
Howie truly was a great artist at his craft but that is not all that he was. He was a true independent thinker, a lover of Bach, an old hippie, and an ardent political activist. Irrespective of your political leanings, one had to admit that Howie was a passionate man: whether that be with his politics, his wide interests, or his friends and family. You could not help but admire his ardent devotion to everything in this world that he loved. There was, however, one strong and supportive force in Howie’s life that kept in balance all of his fervent enthusiasm: his wife, Pok Sun. The love between these two people was everlasting and Pok Sun was the force that kept Howie’s life in balance. Her devotion to him was extraordinary and he was very lucky to have had her throughout his journey here on earth. As it turns out, his time here on earth has been cut short by a hideous disease plaguing all too many people in this world.
So we must say goodbye to another legend in this business. One whose shoes will not easily be filled. Rest in eternal peace my dear friend and be sure to say hello to JFK for me when you see him. Too bad we will never know that you were right all along.
Indeed, I am sorry to tell you that the photons striking our eyes from now on will not be quite as parallel as they were when Howie was with us. But I suppose the universe will manage to be content with being a bit less collimated in the future..
Howie will be interred on Monday June 19. He is survived by his wife, Pok Sun Glatter.
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