In memory of
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In memory of
JUDA, Michael Of Arlington, aged 57, died on December 3, 2016, predeceased by brother Peter, father Felix, mother Jacqueline. Survived by his wife Jiahong, his siblings Sue Raymond, Gail Fowler, Mary Beth Bradford, Paul (Susan) and David (Rita), and many nieces and nephews. Mike began life on February 12, 1959, in Rochester NY. Athletic, with a keen intellect and a love of music and theater, he attended Irondequoit High School and then Caltech, obtaining his B.Sc. in Physics in 1981. He earned a Ph.D. in Physics in 1988 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he met Jiahong, beginning an adventure that would see them launch experiments on rockets at White Sands NM, hike the Swiss Alps, journey to Mt. Everest base camp, summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, and explore the fjords of New Zealand. In 1994, after working at the Space Physics lab at UW-Madison, Mike joined the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, MA, where he spent two decades with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, one of NASA's Great Observatories. Mike served as a liaison between science operations and detector teams, and in 2000, shortly after Chandra's launch, assumed additional duties as one of its Flight Directors. In 2010, he was appointed Mission Operation Manager (or, more affectionately, MOM). Calm under pressure, adept at problem solving and the focused application of his expansive knowledge of the mission, Mike lead through respect rather than command, providing colleagues the independence to act, yet always cognizant that he bore the final responsibility for decisions. The tremendous respect and trust accorded him was due in no small part to his passion for rigor, attention to detail, and quiet yet assertive demeanor. Mike's self-discipline was legendary. He managed his time and effort so that moments and companions could be enjoyed without hurry or delay. Always curious, he strove to understand how natural history and the evolution of human societies and culture led to the world around him. He had diverse interests, including music, movies, philosophy and travel. He enjoyed physical activity and treasured being outdoors, whether hiking, camping, or, most especially, rock climbing. He enjoyed conversation, and delighted in a glass of fine wine, a tasty brew, in fare both simple and complex. A stroll in the evening with Jiahong, forays in the woods to find mushrooms or Lady Slipper orchids in bloom – all were equally enjoyable. Never one to seek the spotlight, it instead found him. To the many who knew and loved him, Mike was the quiet, conversant, whimsical, witty friend; the eternal student and teacher; the consistent, dependable colleague; the thoughtful, direct, kind, accepting companion. In 2007, shortly before a planned trip to Tanzania, Mike was diagnosed with kidney cancer. In early 2015, it reappeared from remission and throughout the succeeding months he persevered, defined neither by disease nor consequences of treatment, continuing to work. His travels with Jiahong were more local, but there was still much to experience and enjoy. On Saturday, December 3, 2016, after a short, intense bout of pneumonia, with Jiahong at his side holding his hand and his friends circled around him, Mike slipped quietly away. A memorial service will be held at 1 P.M. on Saturday, May 6, at the Harvard College Student Organization Center at Hilles, 59 Shepard St., Cambridge, MA 02138. For more information, please visit . Lehman Reen McNamara Brighton 617 782 1000 View the online memorial for Michael JUDA
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