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April 8a, 2015
SPECIAL LPOD: WALTER HAAS
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It is with great sadness that we report that Walter H. Haas, founder and director emeritus of the Association of Lunar & Planetary Observers, passed away on April 6, 2015, at 6:10 a.m. MDT (12:10 UT) of natural causes in Las Cruces, New Mexico, his home town for many years. Walter was born July 3, 1917. He founded the ALPO in 1947 and served as executive director until the mid-1980s. He had been in gradually failing health recently but his mind was still sharp as a tack. Many of us owe an unmeasurable debt of gratitude to Walter for shaping lunar and planetary astronomy for what is has evolved into today as well as shaping our own interest in the Solar System and our lives. Walter's daughter, Mary Alba, requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to your local hospice and to the ALPO.
Executive Director, Assn of Lunar & Planetary Observers
Walter Haas had a great impact on amateur astronomy in the USA. His founding of the ALPO led to many young people becoming interested in the science of lunar and planetary observing. I remember as a teenager receiving a letter from him answering questions I had asked and offering sincere encouragement, all on a sheet of lined paper straight from a school tablet. A number of professional planetary scientists published their first papers in
The Strolling Astronomer,
the ALPO's journal. I was lucky to meet Walter at 3 or 4 ALPO conventions since the 60s. He was warm hearted and quietly humble.
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