Obituary: Eldred F. Tubbs

Grandfather, esteemed scientist, college professor

Eldred Frank Tubbs, a longtime resident of Claremont, died March 21. He was born March 31, 1924, in Buffalo, New York. He completed high school in 1942 and like many of his generation entered the U.S. Army in 1943. He served first in the Army Air Forces and then saw combat in Europe with the 69th Infantry Division.

He graduated from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1949 and earned a PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 1956. After a period in industry, he joined the faculty of Harvey Mudd College in 1963 as a professor of physics, continuing there until 1979. During that period he was involved in laboratory research related to astronomy both at Harvey Mudd and as a visiting scientist at Harvard University. He went to Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1979 and worked there until retiring in 2005. His work at JPL principally involved optical sensors for spacecraft control systems. During his time at JPL, he also spent 10 years teaching in the laser technology program at Pasadena City College.

He married Virginia A. Lefurgy of Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania in 1949. He is survived by his daughter, Rebecca R. Tubbs; son, William M. Tubbs (Phyllis); and grandsons Thomas O. Tubbs and Eric A. Tubbs. He was predeceased by his wife Virginia; son David H. Tubbs; and his sister, Lois R. Tubbs.

He lived in Claremont since 1963 and was an active member of St. Ambrose Episcopal Church. He also was a longtime member of the Orange Empire Railway Museum, Sigma XI, Optica, and the Pomona Valley Amateur Astronomers club.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 3 at St. Ambrose Episcopal Church, 830 W. Bonita Ave., Claremont, CA 91711, with a reception following.


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