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:
I heard the news about Simon death during the COSPAR meeting last week. I was terribly shocked.

I had known of his scientific contributions and participation in the gamma ray field for some time.

I met him as a member of the Cosmic Ray Comission, he was an eccellent working companion. When he was appointed president, we collaborated closely for the preparation of the 30th ICRC in 2007. His commitment to help in the task, gentle manners to sort out delicate issues that arised on the way, positive attitude and creative ideas to overcome dificulties, were always an asset and served as encoragement for others working for the same purpose. During the conference he even volunteered (together with Tom Gaisser) as a last minute rapporteur to fill-in for the appointed person that became ill.

Our common endeavours lasted only few years, but I will always remember him for his human aptitudes.


Added: July 24, 2010
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Such very sad, if not unexpected, news. I first met Simon when he was a student at the first of Maury Shapiro’s schools in Erice almost exactly 32 years ago. He was then a research student of Peter Fowler’s at Bristol and I still recall his guitar-playing entrancing us most nights in the Marsalla cellar. More recently we shared a taxi to Mumbai airport from Pune in 2005. He had his guitar with him as he had to ‘keep his fingers exercised’ for an up-coming gig: he kept his physics sharp through his other interests. Visiting Chicago without him being there is going to be strange; he was a great physicist with a style of humour and comment that had remained quintessentially English. My deepest condolences to his family on their irreplaceable loss. I’ll certainly miss him.

Added: July 24, 2010
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I had the pleasure to know Simon from VERTIAS collaboration and worked at the next-door lab to his office when I was temporarily settled in Chicago during my graduate degree.

I am deeply shocked from the news, I had heard his illness before, but I was assuming he was recovering and doing fine. I will definitely miss his positive attitude, smiling face and ability to find a funny side in all things.. I am deeply in debt to him for arranging me a work place at the Univ.Chicago during my time there, kindly advising me every time I need some insights on anything, and for more..

I give my condolences to his family and friends, and also to the VERITAS collaboration that lost a great member.


Added: July 23, 2010
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Comments:
What an unutterable loss. I count myself incredibly blessed to have called Simon a dear friend for 17 years, having worked closely with him on the HEAT and CREAM projects. I owe him such a debt of gratitude for all I learned from him... Whether we hung out at some exalted physics conference or else in the awfullest remote places for ballooning, his iconic and iconoclastic sense of humor made it all fun and worthwhile. He loved life and we all loved him for it.

My deepest condolences to his family.

Goodbye, Big Guy...


Added: July 23, 2010
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Comments:
It is my great pleasure to have worked for Simon on
4 major instruments. I will miss him very much. I will
always remember his leadership, insight, and humor.
Simon always had great ideas and could spot an error
in a flash. This sadness is great.


Added: July 23, 2010
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Comments:
I have very fond memories from my time as a graduate student at LASR, and Simon had a lot to do with that. I think that one reason was that, with him around, it seemed like nothing could go wrong, and no problem could not be surmounted. He always exuded confidence and optimism and, therefore, peace. His sense of humor was a big part of that, his stature probably didn't hurt, and he did always have a good idea. Most importantly, perhaps, he also knew when a student needed to hear a serious bit of advice, which he gave generously and kindly. For all these things that I have experienced and more, I am very grateful.

My condolences go out to his family, and they will be in my prayers.


Added: July 23, 2010
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I first met Simon at one of Sheila's classic and fabulous End-of-the-Year PSCD parties since he was going to become the new PSCD Master (a 3 year sentence). I remember being surprised at how young, tall and good looking he was for both 1) an Englishman and 2) a scientist (no offense to any Brits or scientists anywhere).The years I worked for him would be full of witty comments and great insight about things related and unrelated to school. From Simon, I learned to thoughtfully contemplate any situation which presented itself, to treat people with respect and kindness, even when you don't agree and that you can be a successful academic, a charismatic person, and a humble person. I left my PSCD job to accept a full-time teaching position, but I have never forgotten Simon, how much I enjoyed talking with him and what I learned from him. Your memory and spirit will live on, Simon, and you will be missed very much.

Added: July 22, 2010
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This is indeed very depressing. Simon always seemed so cheerful and so jovial whenever he saw me. He invariably had something humorous, brilliant, or insightful, or all three, to say at meetings and seminars; and often his questions were so fundamental and pertinent that it was embarassing for the rest of us to admit that we hadn't thought of it that way.

I first introduced him to my wife back in 1983 at Jim Eraker's wedding reception. And I last saw him just a few years ago at the DuSable Museum where I was attending the non-academic staff's 25-Year Club annual party. I have no idea why he was there. He surprised me by instantly recognizing me, despite my completely white hair, my additional 40 lbs, and the intervening 5 or 6 years since I had previously seen him. He greeted me as though no time at all had passed since we'd had our last good laugh together.

I offer my deepest condolences to his family and the entire Cosmic Ray Community.


Added: July 22, 2010
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I was very fortunate to know Simon for a long time, since the 1980's. I really got to know him when we both lectured at a summer school on cosmic rays in Erice, Sicily. At that time we spent a lot of hanging together and seeing the sights. Although we were at different institutions, we were colleagues with similar research interests and we met many times at many meetings. What I will miss most was his fantastic sense of humor and the many humorous e-mails that we exchanged over the years. It's hard to realize that he's not around any more. I will miss him a lot. He was a hell of a guy!

Added: July 22, 2010
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I fondly remember Simon from my LASR grad student days as a fellow of great wit and wisdom, a renaissance man, a player of flamenco guitar. Heaven must surely be a more interesting place now that he is there.

Added: July 22, 2010
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