Ron Olowin, Saint Mary’s physics, astronomy professor, dies – East Bay Times

MORAGA Dr. Ronald Olowin, a well-known Saint Marys College School of Science professor and astrophysicist and member of the faculty there since 1987, died Saturday at age 72.

A Lafayette resident, Olowin a devout Catholic often gave lectures on the complex relationships between politics, religion, science and art, starting from the era of the historical Christ.

He was a member of the executive committee for the Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomenon consortium, which holds international meetings to explore the influence of astronomical phenomena on art, literature, myth, religion and history.

With a National Science Foundation grant and a major donation from Saint Marys alumnus and Bay Area dentist Louis Geissberger, Olowin was central to establishing the Norma Geissberger Observatory, where a research telescope was installed in 2004 on Observatory Hill near campus.

He also worked to deepen the colleges relationship with Moraga and the other Lamorinda cities, giving talks about the intersection of science and religion at his church, St. Perpetua Catholic Community in Lafayette, at Berkeleys Graduate Theological Union, and at installments of the Science Cafe series of discussions at the Lafayette Library.

A native of Pennsylvania, Olowin studied geophysics and astronomy at the University of British Columbia and worked at an observatory in South Africa before coming to Saint Marys 30 years ago.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 26 at St. Perpetua Church; a vigil service will he held the night before Friday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Saint Marys College Chapel.Donations may be made in Rons honor to the Ron and Mary Olowin Memorial Gift, for the support of the Christian Brothers educational ministry in Myanmar under Brother Ling John. Send such donations to the De La Salle Institute (DLSI), 4401 Redwood Road, Napa CA 94558.

Donations may also be made to the St. Perpetua Church Capital Campaign, for the purpose of building a new social hall for the parish. Those contributions can be sent to St. Perpetua Church, 3454 Hamlin Road, Lafayette CA 94549.

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Ron Olowin, Saint Mary’s physics, astronomy professor, dies – East Bay Times

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