I didn't know Hank as well or for as long as many of you. But what always impressed me about him was the sharpness of his mind. Even at a time of life when many are fearful of new technologies. Hank embraced it-whether it was computers or digital cameras or the latest telescope accessory.
Amateur Astronomers, Inc. certainly benefited from his tireless intellectual curiosity. It was Hank, for example, who pioneered AAI's use of the then-revolutionary CCD camera in the 1990s. It was Hank who upgraded the drive system on one of our large telescopes. It was Hank who led tutorials to teach the rest of us how to not only take pretty pictures, but also do serious research.
He hunted asteroids, chased solar eclipses and captured the trails of meteors. From his "Bright Sky Observatory" in his light-polluted West Orange backyard, he managed to be among the very few amateur astronomers to get an image of the extremely faint dwarf planet UB313 that is now known as Eris. Our club's website includes many examples of his celestial images.
Hank served as AAI's President, Research Committee Chair, Trustee and Nominating Committee Chair. Even when he held no office, he would still sit in on our Executive Committee meetings. He loved AAI. He gave many public presentations on a variety of topics, always accompanied by his wry sense of humor.
Hank and Mary were regular fixtures at Sperry Observatory. Even as an elderly couple, shuffling about, it was very obvious that they still shared a loving companionship. I always thought it was cute that he still referred to her as his "blushing bride."
If the sky is clear tonight, go out and find the Big Dipper. Look at the star in the lower left corner of the bowl. Stare at it a moment. That star is some 84 light years away. That means its light left around the same time Hank was born. Stare at it. And remember.
And if you need help finding it, please stop by Sperry Observatory any Friday night. I think Hank would be delighted if you did.