A memorial service for Raymond E. White Jr. was held at the UA Museum of Art on the University campus, on Wednesday October 20, from 4 to 6 PM.
Raymond E. White Jr.
We announce the death of Raymond E. White Jr. of Tucson, Arizona, on Tuesday, October 12, 2004. Dr. Raymond E. White Jr. was Distinguished Professor Emeritus in Astronomy at the University of Arizona, in Tucson. Ray was an astronomer who inspired great creative activity among people who were inside and outside the world of astronomy. He stimulated artists to incorporate astronomical ideas into their works of art. He was a legendary teacher who cared about students and mentored generations of the University of Arizona's finest.
Ray served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1958, and earned his PhD at the University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana, in 1967. He joined the Steward Observatory of the University of Arizona in 1964, and became Distinguished Professor in 1995. He retired in 1999, but remained professionally active in many aspects of astronomy.
His early research in astronomy centered on globular clusters. He taught introductory astronomy courses, was involved in the Honors college, guest-lectured frequently in classes of UA colleagues, and served as a Faculty Fellow in Graham-Greenlee Hall. Together with friends and colleagues, he did important work in the fledgling field of archaeoastronomy, searching out the astronomical activities of early cultures, from Machu Picchu in Peru to Casa Grande in Arizona. Together with Professor Donna Swaim, he led several summer tours of Europe for UA undergraduates.
He helped organize, and was a guiding force behind a series of international conferences which brought together astronomers, artists, art historians, and literary scholars. These remarkable meetings took place in such venues as the Vatican Observatory, Malta, Palermo, and Oxford University, and he was actively planning the next meeting to take place at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. These week-long meetings have had a decisive influence on the careers of many scholars from around the world.
Ray is survived by his wife, Ruby, and their three children, Raymond III, Kathleen, and Kevin, and two grandchildren.