Joseph Oberheuser died in 2005 in a Fort Wayne, Indiana hospital after a short illness. He was cremated and an obituary prepared. It stated, "the world sees better because of Joseph H. Oberheuser. Whether you're a photographer peering through the viewfinder of a film camera, a movie buff watching a big screen picture, a meteorologist studying satellite weather photos or an astronomer gazing into the depths of space, Mr. Obersheuser had a hand in enhancing your visual experience."
Joe designed the optical system of the Hubble Space Telescope. His wife Judie Oberheuser wrote:
"A couple of years ago, Joe watched a PBS program on all of the astronomical telescopes ever launched (24 + of them). When it was over, he remarked that he outright designed or worked on all but three of them."
Judie told the San Angelo Writers' Club of her efforts to get Joe's ashes on the Space Shuttle performing the Hubble repair. Tears held up the storytelling, but she assured club members "It's a good thing." NASA didn't have time to work up a space appropriate container to meet her wish. But they did the next best thing, they invited Joe's spirit to NASA's mission control. Joe Oberheuser, the Hubble expert, would be with the NASA team.
Fellow club members encouraged Judie to share her story with the Standard Times. She graciously declined.
When you read about the Hubble Repair mission, rest assured that NASA has fine scientists and technicians. Add to that a good heart and deep gratitude for people who paved the way. Raise a toast to the spirit of Joe Oberheuser and his widow Judie, now a San Angelo resident. Judie diligently writes the monthly newsletter for the San Angelo Writers' Club. Our heart is with her.
Today, Joe is back at Mission Control, overseeing the Hubble Repair. It's a story that deserves telling.