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Tom Cave has died

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 06:25 AM

Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2003 11:06:19 -0700
From: "Keiser Frank" <keiser_frank@b...>
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To: jstrogenht1@h..., Timothy.J.Thompson@j...
Subject: Passing of Thomas Cave


It is with my deepest regrets I am informing you of the passing of
Thomas Roland Cave III, well known telescope maker, Mars observer and
Life-Time LAAS member. Tom had been in failing health for some time
passed on Wednesday June 4, 2003. Memorial services are pending and
will be in Long Beach, CA. Please direct any correspondence to
ft.keiser@g... FYI I am Frank Keiser, husband of Davina Keiser,
Tom's daughter. An alternate Email address is my work

Frank T. Keiser

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 09:28 PM

I'm new to this forum and probably won't participate very much but I wanted to express my sadness at the passing of Tom Cave. I knew Tom through the Los Angeles Astronomical Society. I attended a number of board meetings with him in the late 1960s and 1970s. He was president 2X, once in 1950 and again in about 1970.

But I first met Tom in 1958. I was in junior high school, and a friend and I formed an astronomy club, known as the Lakewood Astronomy Club. Lakewood was a suburb of Long Beach, California. Somehow, we were able to get Tom Cave as a speaker during one of our weekly after-school meetings. On two occasions, Tom invited my friend, Mike Morrione, and me to attend a meeting of the Excelsior Telescope Club. The Excelsior club was founded in the 1940s and met in Tom's home in Long Beach. It was a small but elite group of advanced amateurs, composed of such notables of the era as Claude Carpenter and "Chief" Myers. They were the big guns of their time. It was such an honor for a 13 or 14 year old to attend one of those meetings. These small, informal gatherings were held in Tom's living room. Afterward, everyone would adjourn to Tom's backyard observatory. He had the finest 12-inch Astrola in existence (naturally), with optics by renowned optician, Alika Herring, who I also got to meet at Tom's store.

Cave Optical Co. was located on Anaheim St. in Long Beach. I can't count the times I pedaled my bicycle to Tom's store in those early days (as well as to Coast Instrument, home of the Trekerscope, and Nye Optical Co.). I met Tom's wife, Silvia, and their two daughters. I remember Davina the best.

I will always have a special place in my heart for Tom Cave. By inviting a young kid to his home and making him feel a part of his close circle of elite friends, he sowed the seeds for a lifetime interest in astronomy. I will always be in his debt for that.

Lewis Chilton
Northridge, California

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