An improbable event on the evening of June 18, 1997 led to the death
of Dr. Jurgen Rahe. It would be easy to comment here on the many things
that Jurgen did for NASA generally, and for planetary science specifically.
Signs of his programmatic leadership and professionalism are evident in
the current vitality of the Solar System Exploration program. It is,
however, another aspect of Jurgen that Jurgen's humanity was manifested
in many ways. It came through clearly in his all-too-human enthusiasm and
dedication to understanding the universe in which we live, exploring our
planetary system, and discovering and studying planetary systems around
other stars. This was not
a programmatic enthusiasm, but a tangible
expression of a passion, a flame that burned behind the veil of his calm demeanor.
His humanity was also expressed through his interactions with others. I have known few people who cared so deeply for his coworkers and for people generally. Because of the role that the Institute has with NASA, interactions between Jurgen and many members of the staff here were frequent. Hi s concern for them, and his appreciation for their efforts whether large or small, touched us all. He went to great lengths to help people, to find ways to make th eir tasks or life a bit easier"
I miss Jurgen, but this message is not one of sadness. It is one of thanks. Thanks for his friendship, and for his humanity. It is up to each of us as individuals, and working collectively, to carry on the flame that was within Jurgen, to use it to shed light on the unknown.
David C. Black, LPI