Memories of Simon Swordy


In lieu of flowers, the family suggests any memorial contributions be sent to:
The Simon Swordy Memorial Fund
The University of Chicago Medical Center Development Office
1170 E. 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
Attn: Amanda Butchko





Comments:
Simon's departure is a great loss to his friends and family, and also to science. He was in the prime of his creative career and I cannot help but regret the innovations that will not happen without Simon's wisdom and insight. (I will personally also very much miss his way of injecting dry humor into almost any conversation.) His departure is a great loss to Chicago, and to the world.

Added: July 27, 2010
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Comments:
Please accept my condolences for the passing of Simon. I met him through my work as a program manager for some of the experiments he was working on, including VERITAS. He had a great sense of humor, brought life to the meetings and was always thoughtful and sincere. I really enjoyed talking with him and learning from him. He will be greatly missed.

Kathy Turner


Added: July 27, 2010
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I am deeply saddened by the news of Simon's passing. Although I had heard of his illness and his valiant fight, I was hopeful and optimistic that he would recover. SImon was a wonderful human being. I had the honor of working with him at KICP. His wisdom- both pragmatic and kind - helped us through several difficult situations while he was briefly in charge of the Institute. His ability to get to the core of a problem, yet deal with it with good humor was something I learned a great deal from. I wish his family strength and courage in dealing with this terrible, terrible loss.

Added: July 27, 2010
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I am deeply saddened by Simon's untimely passing and I am very sorry for how this terrible situation has affected you and your family. Simon was a wonderful person and the best colleague one could imagine having. Whether it was directing of experiments, or the Institute, as Master of the College, or teaching in the classroom, Simon always exhibited wisdom, wit, and fairness. He had great vision for this University and the Enrico Fermi Institute, and accomplished much to make us better.
On a more personal note, I have appreciated Simon's respect for my role here and his faith in me to hold the fort during his illness. I will miss him very much.


Added: July 27, 2010
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Simon was an excellent scientist, an experimental physicist. With his passing we have lost a respected colleague and a good friend. He contributed greatly to our understanding of origin, accelertion and propagation of cosmic rays through seminal experiments on primary and secondary cosmic rays, study of antimatter, development of new techniques and studies of VHE gamma rays with state of art instruments. He also served on national and international committees to guide the directions of research in particle astrophysics. We will miss his wise counsel and continued support.

Added: July 26, 2010
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I knew Simon in my capacity as a science writer. He had a way of communicating that always seemed to leave me in a brighter mood after interacting with him. That is a tremendous gift that one person can give to another.

Added: July 26, 2010
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I've felt for some time that there are angels walking among us on Earth. We were in the presence of one when Simon was around. He has earned his wings much sooner than we would have wished.

Fly, Big Si.


Added: July 26, 2010
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The H.E.S.S. collaboration (represented by Werner Hofmann, Michael Punch, & Gerard Fontaine) wishes to extent our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Simon Swordy. Simon will be remembered fondly as a colleague who was always good-humoured, giving interesting and amusing talks. At the same time he was recognized as a physicist of the highest calibre, with notable contributions to gamma-ray astrophysics - through his involvement with and leadership of the VERITAS collaboration - and in the wider field of cosmic-ray physics - through the HEAT and more recently CREAM balloon detectors. His striking plot of a compilation of the cosmic-ray flux over 12 orders of magnitude was taken up by practically everyone who wished to explain the wonders of the high-energy sky, which Simon communicated so well. May he rest in peace.

Added: July 26, 2010
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My condolences on your loss. Simon was a wonderful friend, colleague and leader, who inspired us with a unique combination of intelligence, insight, wit and charisma; not to mention being a half-decent centre-forward who could hold a tune. I will remember him for these qualities, and for the trust and confidence he placed in me and other aspiring post-docs in the early days of VERITAS. We'll miss him.

Added: July 26, 2010
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I heard about Simon’s passing a few days ago. It is a great loss for the science community and for those of us who were lucky enough to have worked with him.

I worked with Simon when I came to work for Dietrich Mueller as a postdoc at U. Chicago in 1996-2000. I quickly understood what a brilliant physicist he was, but I also learned how fun and engaging he was, in and out of the lab. He was not only a colleague and an advisor but also a friend.

I last spent time with him at the 2003 ICRC in Japan. I have a photo of me sitting next to him at the Chicago dinner, discussing chopsticks. Afterward, Scott Wakely, Simon, and I had some drinks in a bar, talking and joking. I hadn’t spoken to him for a few years, but it felt as if we had missed seeing each other for only a week.

I’ll miss having the opportunity to have a drink and talk with him in the future. The next time I build something out of al-yu-minium, I’ll be remembering Simon.

My condolences to his family.


Added: July 25, 2010
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