Obituary: John Allen Ball at 83
Thu, 08/15/2019 - 8:34pm Heraldgroton
On Tuesday, August 6, 2019, John Allen Ball, 83, died peacefully of complications resulting from Alzheimer’s Disease at his home in Harvard, surrounded by family. John was born in 1935 in Ravenna, Nebraska. He graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. After serving two years as a lieutenant in the US Air Force, stationed at Wheelus Air Base in Tripoli, Libya, he attended graduate school at Harvard University, earning a Ph.D. in astrophysics. He did the research for his thesis at Haystack Observatory.
John worked as a radio astronomer at Harvard University, first at Agassiz Station, the Harvard College Observatory in Harvard, then at Harvard’s Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge and its radio astronomy station in Fort Davis, Texas. Later John joined MIT’s Haystack Observatory in Westford, where he worked as a research scientist, until his retirement. At Haystack, John worked with the 37-meter diameter radio telescope, part of a global network of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) experiments. John also taught astronomy at Worcester State College.
John is survived by his wife of 64 years, Audrey Roth Ball; daughters Fifine, Desirée, and Laurie; son Kevin (Teresa Gudger); nephew Michael Ball (Beth); grandchildren Justin Walsh, Daniel Walsh, Jessica Anderson (Duke), Audrey Lewis, Lindsey Champion (Corey), and Samantha Gudger; and great grandchildren Brookelan Heck and Tucker Ray Champion. A memorial service for John will be held on a date to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association / alz.org
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