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A Beautiful Mind and one of my very best friends

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#1 Camcon101


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Posted 12 June 2017 - 06:27 PM

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.


Jeffrey Norwood

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#2 Augustus



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Posted 12 June 2017 - 06:38 PM

I met Howie at Stellafane last year and was so impressed with his Coronado PST (or was it Lunt LS35?) bino bracket that he had made as well as his collimators. I've only seen a handful of people that have made such fine astronomical equipment and none of them are as engaged with their customers as Howie was - he was always present on CN.


I never got to know him but I will look for a Glatter collimator to remember him by. 

Edited by Augustus, 12 June 2017 - 06:40 PM.

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#3 NiteGuy



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Posted 12 June 2017 - 06:45 PM

Had a lengthly chat with Howie when I first met him at the Tucson Astronomy Expo a couple of years ago. Great guy with a good sense of humor and even though I must have talked to more than 30 people that day, I still think about that 15 or 20 minutes with Howie. He was the one standout for me. Unforgettable. You will truly be missed and thank you for bringing many significant, well-thought-out products to our hobby.

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#4 ratnamaravind


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Posted 12 June 2017 - 06:56 PM

I spoke to Howie three months ago about:

1. His parallelizer 

2. His binocular nebula filters (he only sourced 60 of these from Kasai Trading and I owned one of them) 


What a cheerful and helpful person! These are the kind of people who make our hobby great.



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#5 junomike



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Posted 12 June 2017 - 06:58 PM

What a shocking loss to the Astronomy community....RIP.



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#6 Crow Haven

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 07:03 PM

frown.gif  RIP Howie.  I appreciate my Glatter collimator, tublug and parallelizer, and thank you for helping us see a better view of the universe.

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#7 Tom T

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 07:03 PM

I've known Howie for a number of years.


I'm gonna miss that old hippie.  Our hobby is diminished by his loss.

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#8 xiando


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Posted 12 June 2017 - 07:08 PM

Oh, how sad. I didn't know him, but I sure do appreciate the calibration tools he made. frown.gif

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#9 Scott in NC

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 07:11 PM

Oh no. :(


IMO he made the best collimating equipment, bar none, and he was a true blessing to the amateur astronomy community.  He really cared about his work, and it really showed in the quality of his products.  He will be greatly missed. :ubetcha:

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#10 swalker


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Posted 12 June 2017 - 07:11 PM

I'll think of him fondly this evening as I use his Parallizer. What a great guy.

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#11 DeanS



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Posted 12 June 2017 - 07:22 PM

So sad :(


Will always remember those late night in depth discussions when he got on a roll.



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#12 Roger Greenwood

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 07:24 PM


What you wrote was beautiful.

Thanks for that,


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#13 Richard Whalen

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 07:52 PM

Howie was a great character, will miss seeing him at star parties selling his wares along side his wife. Bought many a product from him over the years, still have every one of them as they were quality and stood the test of time. My prayers go out to him and his family. A sad day indeed...

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:15 PM

~RIP~ I have his PST Bino-Mount, use it for Night Vision True Binos 1X and 3X, also his barlowed Newt collimator. Bright mind... will be missed. ~RIP~

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#15 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:18 PM

Oh my.. I knew he was ill but I never expected this.. frown.gif   Quite a shock.. 


I never met Howie but we conversed numerous times via Email.  


I have but one Howie Glatter story.  I have told it several times on Cloudy Nights but I believe it deserves being told again.


" Howie is a very special guy..  Some years ago I saw a want ad on Astromart for a "cheap" laser collimator.  The physics teacher at the Montezuma Creek High School on the Navajo reservation had used his own money to buy a 12 inch Lightbridge for the school but had nothing left for a collimator.


Having spent many wonderful nights enjoying the dark skies of the Navajo's,  I wanted to help out by buying a Howie Glatter collimator for the teacher..  I was hoping I could get Howie to give me a deal so I sent Howie an Email explaining the situation and asking him if he could help me out, cut me a deal. 

A few days later a Howie Glatter collimator with all the attachments showed up at my door,  Howie had stolen my thunder, he had donated it all to the Navajo school.."


This is quite a shock.. My best wishes to his family and friends. Oh my, Howie's moved on.. 


And thank you Jeffrey Norwood for your tribute to Howie.   



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#16 kenkolen


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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:30 PM

I am in shock, I didn't know he was ill and I never would have guessed. So hard to speak of him in the past tense because he has such a vivid personality.

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#17 Tdesert63


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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:31 PM

R.I.P fellow stargazer, Now you can go see in person what you saw in the heavens.best wishes to the family and friends

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#18 JayinUT


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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:47 PM

He will be missed in the astro community, but by his close friends, family and wife the most. May his memory always bring a smile to their face, and a warm remembrance in their hearts.   

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#19 rowdy388



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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:50 PM

Deeply sadened to hear the news. He left the world a better place. 

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#20 WaterMaster


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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:50 PM

I had the pleasure of meeting Howie in person twice. Over the years I think I bought almost every piece of equipment Howie made, and had wonderful conversations in the process. I'll think about him, and miss him, every time I use my scopes, all enhanced in some way by something made by his hands.

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#21 Alex McConahay

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:51 PM

Who is left to levitate the Pentagon now?



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#22 rboe



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Posted 12 June 2017 - 09:01 PM

I was very fortunate to have met him too, a stand up guy. We don't get out alive, but dang, some folks just leave way too soon. :(

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#23 KidOrion



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Posted 12 June 2017 - 09:05 PM

Awful news. 

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#24 csa/montana


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Posted 12 June 2017 - 09:12 PM

This is indeed very sad news. Our community has definitely lost a very bright star.frown.gif   My prayers to his wife, and rest of family.  They kindly shared this wonderful guy & his talent with the astro community.

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#25 Cotts


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Posted 12 June 2017 - 09:32 PM

I'm so sad about this.  Jon Joseph of Starlight Instruments called me just now to tell me.  He and Howie were close collaborators and friends.  


For at least 10 years Howie and I called each other 'the Schmuck' and 'the Canuck'.   His passion for precision in the hobby, his generosity, his constant cheer, his stories - so much to admire... 



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