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In memoriam: Ferris Arthur 'Art' Simpson, Jr., telescope optics engineer

09 September 2016

Ferris Arthur "Art" Simpson Jr., 82, a retired optical engineer and project manager whose work on large telescope projects spanned several decades, died 30 July in California.

Simpson worked at Lockheed Martin, Itek Optical Systems, Tinsley, and other optical companies in Texas, Massachusetts, and California for many years, retiring from Lockheed Martin in 1999.

"Art was one of the best optical engineers I ever knew," said SPIE Fellow Joe Houston, who knew Simpson for 60 years. Houston noted that Simpson was an expert in testing mirrors and was also always ready to help others in the optical shop.

Outside of his work life, Simpson was an avid sailor and chess player who built telescopes, boats, and musical instruments. He learned about astronomical telescope making as a young man in the Boy Scouts.

Simpson is survived by his wife, Marilyn; a brother, William Dent Simpson; and several nieces and nephews.