Ray Newburn Jr. passed away unexpectedly but peacefully in his sleep on September 2nd, 2021 at the age of 88.
He was born on January 9, 1933 to Ray and Gertrude Newburn in Rock Island, IL. In March 1941, the family moved to Southern California. Soon after, he would discover the Mt. Wilson and Griffith Park Observatories which would lead him to his lifelong love of Astronomy.
Ray attended Caltech from 1950 to 1956 where he completed his BA and Masters degrees before taking a summer job at JPL, where he would spend the rest of his career.
Over his many years at JPL, he worked on projects ranging from the acquisition of a telescope and construction of an observatory at Table Mountain in Wrightwood, CA to the Mariner 2 and Cassini missions, but he was most proud of his co-leadership position of the International Halley Watch and his involvement in the Stardust Mission.
While working at JPL he had interactions with Carl Sagan, Gene Roddenberry, Pope John Paul II, Edwin Hubble, Fred Whipple, Lou Allen, various astronauts and more.
He also enjoyed the wide range of work related traveling he did worldwide, including to the former Soviet Union, East Germany, Japan, London, Rome, Holland, Switzerland, and his many observing runs to Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
In his free time, Ray enjoyed reading, stamp and cover collecting, hiking, off roading, and traveling.
Ray leaves behind his wife of 53 years, Virginia, his twin boys Kevin and Steven, daughter-in-law Erin, and 3 grandchildren: Kristen, Jeff, and Alyssa.
We miss you so much Dad,
Love Always, Kevin and Steven