In Memoriam: Wayne M. Lowder

Wayne Lowder


I very sadly inform you of the passing away of long-time AAVSO member Wayne Lowder on January 31, 2003. His son, Bruce, informed us that he passed away peacefully while he was working with his computer.

Wayne M. Lowder (1932-2003), of Putnam Valley, New York (observer initials "LX"), made well over 134,000 observations since 1949 (he had thousands of unsubmitted observations that he was working on and intending to have added to the AAVSO database [these have since been digitized and added to the AAVSO International Database; Wayne's lifetime total stands at 208,571]). Even without the observations he did not send, he was in the league with Danie Overbeek, Leslie Peltier, and Reginald De Kock when it came the number of observations submitted.

As a teenager, accompanied by his father, Wayne first visited Harvard College and Oak Ridge Observatories in 1949 and there met Bart Bok. He joined the AAVSO that same year. While he was a student at Harvard University he visited the AAVSO at Harvard College Observatory often and got to know well Leon Campbell, the first Recorder/Director, and later Margaret Mayall, the second Director of the AAVSO

Wayne, a physicist by profession, was a remarkable observer. His eyes were like a photometer with response closest to visual magnitude. He was very interested in comparison star magnitude sequences used in AAVSO charts and over the last several years, he had been engaged in researching the relationship of visual and photometric V (both with photoelectric and CCD techniques) magnitudes of comparison stars used by the AAVSO.

He served as AAVSO President from 1993 to 1995 and Treasurer from 1999 to 2001. He was the receipient of an AAVSO Observer Award in 1994 for making over 100,000 visual observations.

He will be sorely missed as an observer, a very caring member, and a very good friend.

— Janet A. Mattei


The following messages were posted to the AAVSO Discussion Group in remembrance of Wayne:

Dear Janet, Thank you for sharing the news about Wayne. I am saddened to learn that he is gone from us. I looked up to him. He seemed to take all things calmly and to always make an effort to improve any problem. His contributions to the AAVSO are many. I am especially struck by his demonstrations that naked-eye and binocular observations can still be valuable in this age of CCD detectors and meter-class telescopes.— Al Holm

I was saddened to hear the news of Wayne's passing. He will be sorely missed.—Chris Stephan (SET)