John Keeler Lawrence, 77, died December 20 in Glendale, California.
John Keeler Lawrence, 77, died December 20 in Glendale, California. He was born in Brooklyn, New York October 11, 1940 but he grew up in Hammondsport, the son of George and Mary Keeler Lawrence. His father was President of the Taylor Wine Company. His mother was a granddaughter of Walter Taylor, founder of the Taylor Wine Company; his grandfather was a great-grandson of a village founder Lazarus Hammond. John was proud to say that he spent part of every summer of his life in Hammondsport.
John received his Bachelor’s Degree from Harvard, and went on to earn two advanced degrees, Master’s and PhD, at Northeastern University. He then held post-doctoral positions in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Georgia, Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University Of Vienna (Austria), Department of Physics at Northeastern University, and Department of Physics at the University of Windsor (Canada).
In 1973, Dr. Lawrence joined the Physics and Astronomy faculty at California State University, Northridge (He was Department Chair 1976-1980). His career there was very rewarding and productive. Research interests included General Relativity, Cosmology, Solar Physics, Climate, and Nonlinear Dynamics. He became Emeritus Professor in 1991. John remained active in this role, especially in solar physics research, beyond retirement.
The contributions Dr. Lawrence made to his chosen field of physics and astronomy are so numerous, such as – conducting research; teaching; writing and participating in grants; producing papers; making presentations; refereeing grant proposals and submitted papers; advising students, peers, and organizations.
Scuba diving was John’s favorite sport – he made a total of over 850 dives in a variety of different waters. The collection of his photos taken under water is extensive and fascinating. Many of these diving trips were with good friends from Northern California. Another center of interest was the theater. He was on the board for “A Noise Within”, a local classical repertory theater company. He said his motivation for participating was as much the friends he made as an appreciation for theater arts.
John is survived by his wife Barbara of Glendale, California, and his son Francis with his wife Helen of Los Angeles. His grandsons are Joseph and Andrew of Los Angeles. John was preceded in death by his brother James in 1996.
A gathering to honor John Keeler Lawrence will be held January 14 at 2:00pm at the “A Noise Within” in Pasadena.