Sherman Shou-Chou Wu
1928 - 2020
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Sherman Shou-Chou Wu

Sherman Shou-Chou Wu, born on April 9, 1928, died at 92 years of age on August 22, 2020 with family by his side.

Astrogeologists know him as Dr. Mars for the integral role he played in creating the first topographical map of Mars and other interstellar bodies. The asteroid (2075), discovered on October 9, 1980, is named after him for his influential contributions. Even in his "retirement," his expertise was highly regarded. He moved to Las Vegas from Flagstaff to work as a consultant with the U.S. Department of Energy.

To the people of his hometown, a remote village in China accessible only by foot, he remains an inspiration and benefactor. Neighboring villagers would welcome home their celebrity by setting off firecrackers, waving celebratory banners, and preparing a feast with only the best of their limited resources. His visits ended with them enthusiastically thanking him for the roads and schools he had built for them and flocking to him to bask in his exceptionalism, even if just for the briefest of moments. Even now, they are working to erect a monument in his honor as a beacon of hope to future generations.

He valued filial piety and academic excellence above all. His passion for mathematics translated to a passion for blackjack and other games involving probabilities and statistics. He loved deeply and widely, was generous with both his praises and criticisms, and approached all aspects of his life with perseverance, stubbornness, and grit tempered by a quick wit, charming smile, and roguish nature.

He will be forever remembered by his children Alan (Jessica), Stella, Dona (Louis), Rita (Brannon), and Doug. He will also be remembered by his grandchildren Brian, Sam, Ryker, Sofia, and Alexander; his sisters Xue Fen (Zhou Bing Guang) and Xue Huan; and his nieces and nephews Zhou Zengwen, Zhou Zengwu, Zhou Zengrong, Zhou Zengjian, Tian Jingsen, Tian Jinglin, Tian Jingrong, Tian Jingying, Sandy, and Atlas.

A memorial service will be live streamed on September 8, 2020, starting at 5 PM PDT from La Paloma Funeral Services at 5450 Stephanie St. Las Vegas, NV 89122. Please contact for link details if you are interested in viewing the memorial. Family and friends may sign an online memorial guestbook at

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made payable to the Sherman Wu Trust and sent to 566 South McCaslin Blvd #270743, Superior CO 80027.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Arizona Republic from Sep. 3 to Sep. 4, 2020.
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September 8, 2020
I did not know Sherman extremely well, but I did have a bit of a chance to get to know him several years ago while working at the RSL Facility. He was a very kind soul and highly thought of by everyone. Rest in peace Sherman. Prayers and love to his family and friends.
Christine Muehlbauer
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