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Of Mt. Lebanon on Wednesday April 28, 2010; beloved husband of Jane (Sievers) Kohman; father of Leslie (Jeffrey Smith), Paulette (Tom Kandt) and Steve (Carolyn); grandfather of Daniel Kohman- Kandt; brother of Barbara Howe and the late Victor; also numerous nieces and nephews. Born March 8, 1916 in Champaign, IL Prof. Koman had a more than 50 year career at Carnegie-Mellon University in the Departments of Chemistry and Physics in 1969, when the first Apollo Astronauts landed on the moon, he received some of the first lunar samples for scientific research, funded by the National Science Foundation. He caught the Astronomy bug when he was only 13 and folded his love of the stars into his career as a self described astro-geo-nuclear chemist. He attended Harvard, did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin, and then was selected to work on the Manhattan Project in Richland, WA, where he met Jane Sievers, the love of his life, and Chicago (Argonne National Lab), he taught chemistry at Carnegie Tech/Mellon from 1948 until 1981. In 1954, Truman played a key role in the discovery of Aluminum 26, a nuclide that has figured prominently in the analysis of meteorite and other solar system matter. He was an acknowledged expert on Gamma Ray sources and their distribution. Among his teaching duties at CMU, he taught introductory Astronomy from 1970 to 1990. In appreciation of his support for student observing, CMU students renamed the school's observatory for him in 1986. He was a crucial supporter of the Wagman Observatory project from its earliest days and an officer of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pgh. until 2007. In 2000, in recognition of his contributions to Astronomy, he had the honor of having his name assigned to an asteroid (MP 4177-Kohman). In addition to his scientific accomplishments, he was also a passionate humanitarian, a social justice activist and a tireless advocate for world peace. He received an award from the World Federalist Association of Pgh. and until weeks before his death remained politically connected, the author of frequent letters to the editor and to local and world leaders. Besides science and the stars he also loved jazz, and many other forms of music, playing the trombone, travel and writing poems for special occasion of any kind. A memorial service will be held Saturday May 1, 2PM at the Bower Hill Community Church, Mt. Lebanon. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Amateur Astronomers Association, of Pgh., the or the Pgh. Chapter of the World Federalists Association. Funeral arrangements by BEINHAUERS 412-531-4000. Please add or view tributes at
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Apr. 29, 2010
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