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John S. Letcher, Jr. (BS '62, MS '64, PhD '66)

John S. Letcher, Jr., of Southwest Harbor, Maine, died May 7, 2018, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. John was an avid life-long sailor, completing six trans-Pacific voyages. Two of these were single-handed in a 20-foot boat, for which he was inducted into the Cruising Club of America. John was involved in several America’s Cup campaigns, including serving as senior scientist on the 1987 America’s Cup Stars & Stripes design team. He authored two books on self-steering and celestial navigation for small sailing yachts, and numerous technical articles on the application of aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, and mathematics to yacht design.

John was an exceptionally kind, courteous, and intelligent man, and a loving husband and father. His family cherishes his memory as a man of broad talents, who could build a boat, solve any math problem, play bluegrass banjo, and bake a cherry pie, all with equal skill and enthusiasm. Though his body and mind were ravaged by Parkinson’s disease, he retained his innate sweetness and good humor to the last.

Condolences may be sent to PO Box 684, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

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Bruce Abell (BS '62)

After a three-city career (Pasadena, Washington, DC, and Santa Fe), I'm now spending more of my retirement time than I had expected organizing local scientists and engineers (of whom there are many in Santa Fe) to provide help in local schools (which need a lot of help). I'm joined by my 1962 classmate Dean Gerber, who co-organizes science fairs with me. Along with Ed Angel, '64, we're among about 100 volunteers who comprise the Santa Fe Alliance for Science (www.sfafs.org). Previously I had been a founder of the Santa Fe Center for Emergent Strategies, vice president of Santa Fe Institute, worked at NSF, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, a Washington think tank, and even Caltech in my youth. Our daughters (an archaeologist and a conservation biologist) were born in Pasadena but raised on the east coast, where they live with their families. Nancy and I accumulate a lot of frequent flyer miles visiting our four grandchildren.

Any Caltech people in my area who would like to do some work with students, contact us through our website.

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Albert Whittlesey (BS '62)

At JPL, spent many happy years years in same engineering discipline rather than advancing up the food chain. Retired as "Engineering Principal". In retirement wife and I have traveled lots in the US (local car travel and other travel farther away) and abroad, mostly European cruises and land travel. Kept up more with friends, with several trips supplementing phone calls. Learning the mysteries of and dealing with TIAA and medical retirement alternatives. Did my dream of driving a race car; did 146.31 mph on Fontana raceway.
Tbd: so far haven't got around to reading wife's retirement gift of book, "How to Avoid Boredom in Retirement".
 

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Stottler Starr (MS '62)

I'm still alive and well. Currently exploring ways to encourage parents to read the Bible to their children. In this county, 70-80% of children get no Christian teaching. They don't go to Sunday School or Christian schools, and we know they don't get it in public schools. Yet parents are key in teaching their children about God. We get our image of God the Father from our own earthly fathers, and fathers are the spiritual leaders of their families. Mothers play a role similar to the Holy Spirit in our lives. They teach us, pray for us (who prays more for us than our mothers?), and comfort us. Most strikingly, we are born physically by our mothers and spiritually by the Holy Spirit. God said "Let us make man in our image." The human family truly represents the Trinity - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. I would love to reconnect with anyone.

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Ralph Moore (BS '62)

I and a partner founded Micro Digital in 1975. Our first project used an 8080 processor. In 1989 I and my older son, Alan, developed the smx RTOS kernel. He left a few years later and my younger son, David, joined the Company. He and I have been improving and selling the SMX RTOS ever since. After a 20 year stint, by me, in sales and marketing, he has taken over those function and I have been doing programming for the last 5 years. I am now working on support for Memory Protection Units (MPUs), which provide improved security for Things in the IoT. I enjoy my work because I am continually learning new things, solving problems, and creating code that implements those solutions. This is kind of like solving the Strong problems if any of you remember them. I am not using much physics, but I think the problem solving I learned at Caltech has been beneficial throughout my career.

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Albert Whittlesey (BS '62)

Albert Whittlesey (BS '62) retired in 2014 after 52 years with the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena. So far he has kept busy traveling, hiking, and reading (all avidly). "My wife gave me a book about how how to keep from being bored in retirement and I hope to read it when I get time," he says. "It's looking to be a good new life."

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Clyde Zaidins (BS '62, MS '63, PhD '67)

Clyde Zaidins (BS '62, MS '63, PhD '67) came out of retirement to chair the physics department at the University of Colorado in Denver, where he spent his career. "I arrived in 1967 as one of the first three faculty," he says, and notes that while he's no longer at his beach house, he finds the work satisfying.

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