In memory of the late Richard Crowe, professor of astronomy and physics at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, the Rotary Club of Hilo Bay held a breakfast tribute in late May at the Hilo Yacht Club. Crowe was killed on May 27, 2012, in an off-road accident and a year later his loss is still felt by the community, noted event coordinators.
Karolyn Lundkvist opened the memorial meeting with a few poignant words, “If you can help someone as you travel on, your living shall not be in vain … it isn’t just the goals you set for yourself in life, it’s the journey and the people you help and touch along the way … thank you for joining us this morning for a special tribute to Richard Crowe, a fellow Rotarian and friend.”
Crowe was inducted into Rotary in 2002 and also served as club president from 2007-2008.
Many heartfelt words were spoken to commemorate his contributions to the island community through Rotary, his life in education and astronomy and his passion for music. Among the speakers there were current and past presidents of the Rotary clubs from East Hawaii, close friends and colleagues of Crowe, as well as family members including his wife, Debra Crowe.
Jasmine Anderson, Crowe’s daughter, performed an original song in dedication and spoke about the goal of the UH Foundation to endow the Richard A. Crowe Memorial Scholarship in Astronomy at UH-Hilo, “This scholarship is so important … Mauna Kea is one of the best places in the world for observing the universe, and the Big Island is one of the only places in the world that can provide such a great opportunity for students that want to pursue a profession in this rare field,” she said. “It is a foundation my father helped build on this island and worked for his whole life.”
Crowe was very active in promoting knowledge of astronomy through his outreach work in local schools, integrating astronomy with Polynesian skylore, voyaging and Hawaiian culture. Crowe was the astronomer-in-residence at UH-Hilo’s ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii and was also co-team leader on the annual Journey Through the Universe program, which was dedicated in his memory this year.
Donations to the memorial scholarship may be made payable to The Richard A. Crowe Memorial Scholarship in Astronomy, and submitted to The University of Hawaii Foundation, 200 West Kawili St., Hilo, HI 96720. Donations are also accepted online at www.uhfoundation.org/RichardACrowe MemorialScholarship.