John Littleton

John Littleton

1943 - 2010

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Obituary of John Littleton

John Edward âJackâ Littleton, 67, of Morgantown WV, died at his home surrounded by love on Wednesday, October 20, 2010. His family, friends, and colleagues greatly mourn his loss.Jack was born on July 28, 1943, in Ballston Spa NY, son of the late Anna Lucy Seeley Littleton and Clarence Eugene Littleton.Growing up in Ballston Spa, Jack was active in Boy Scouts and in the Ballston Spa Central School orchestra, where he played violin. At age 12 his family moved to Bolivar WV. He graduated from Harpers Ferry High School in 1961. He lettered in football, basketball and track, was president of his senior class, and worked summers with archaeologists at various civil war battlefields.After high school, he returned to New York State to attend Cornell University in Engineering Physics on a Cornell National Scholarship and graduated in 1965 with a BS. He moved to the University of Rochester to obtain a PhD in theoretical astrophysics in 1972. After obtaining his PhD, he completed postdoctoral positions at the Belfer Graduate School of Science at Yeshiva University in New York City and the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Boston MA.In 1975, he joined the faculty at West Virginia University. He dedicated his long and distinguished career of 33 years in the Department of Physics to encouraging interest in astronomy. He visited public schools in WV, advised the WVU Astronomy Club, started the WVU planetarium program, gave talks at star parties around the state, and showed the public the wonders of the sky with the WVU Physics Departmentâs telescope atop Hodges Hall. For many years, he also wrote a monthly column for the Dominion Post about current events in the night- time sky. He retired as Professor Emeritus in 2008.He is survived by his wife, Rebecca Ann Lawson Littleton, two step-children, Natalie (Kyle) Seiling of Chesterfield VA and Derek (Cheryl) Clark of Morgantown WV, 7 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren, one sister, Sandra Littleton of Charles Town WV, as well as in-laws Janet (Bud) Lawrence Kearns of Rochester NY and John Lawrence of Brooktondale NY, several special aunts, and many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his first wife, Joan Lawrence Littleton. Friends may call on Friday, October 29th, from 6:00-8:00 PM and again on Saturday, October 30th, from 12:00 â" 1:00 PM at the Harner Chapel United Methodist Church, 100 Luckey Lane, Morgantown. A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, October 30th, at Harner Chapel with Reverend Richard Stackpole officiating. Interment will follow at the East Oak Grove Cemetery. Hastings Funeral Home is in charge of arrangementsWe are so grateful to all family, friends and colleagues for their support, care and love, and to all the wonderful doctors and nurses who treated Jack for 8 years, and to Morgantown Hospice for their care and comfort over the past month.
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