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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 American Diabetes Assoc. 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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Memories & Condolences
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13 entries
December 5, 2010
I have fond memories of Truman who was my first graduate school mentor 1952-1954 at CIT. Typical of the CIT faculty I knew as both teachers and friends, he was a dedicated educator, patient, and supportive. I remember when he wanted me to demonstrate how to open a radioactive vial that he handed to me (for the first time), he had already loosened the top. That was typical Truman, making it easy for you to learn. When I needed to branch in another direction he set up visits that led me to my PhD work elsewhere. When I look back on my work in science it would not have been possible without those pivotal persons who were the guideposts in my life. Goodbye good friend.
Dave Freeman
May 3, 2010
Alas, I was very sorry to learn of Triman's departure from this planet.He was a dear colleague and it was always fun talking to him. His modesty was outdone only by his achievements - about which we knew with little understanding. We will think of him often and fondly. With deepest sympathy, rudi Fellner
May 2, 2010
Truman was a mentor to myself and so many other amateur and professional astronomers. He changed my life for the better and guided my move from amateur to professional astronomer and he was a major contributor to the Wagman Observatory project from shortly after its inception through the addition of the Brashear Refractor. It's too bad that we seldom realize how much a man has given to society untl he dies. Truman was one of a kind and he will be sorely missed. Tom Reiland, Director of Wagman Observatory
Tom Reiland
May 1, 2010
Truman will be greatly missed as a cornerstone member of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh. He was greatly admired by all of us.

John Close, AAAP Member, Greenfield
John Close
May 1, 2010
Truman was one of a kind. When he was born they broke the mold.Our first encounter with Truman was at the Allegheny Observatory several years ago. He wanted to contact his wife to let her know he had arrived safetly. Maureen gave him her cell phone to use. He truly was a super neat guy. Truman you will be missed by all that knew you.
Bill & Maureen Moutz
April 30, 2010
Truman was a unique person,a credit to humanity. He will be greatly missed.

George Gatewood, Ball Ground, GA
April 30, 2010
Thanks Truman for all your knowlage to the AAAP and Wagman. Especially to us amateur astronomers.
You will be missed.
Member 3AP
April 30, 2010
Thanks for being you
Tom Geyer
April 30, 2010
Thanks to Truman for the many, many things he did do advance astronomy in Pittsburgh. Visit Wagman Observatory to see the Brashear 11-Inch Refractor -- it is housed there and can be used by the public because of Truman's work. I'll always remember this "star" in our galaxy.
Pete Zapadka
April 29, 2010
Dr. Kohman was a great man, who I will remember for his love of his family and friends, as well as his telescope. He earned and deserved the long and productive life that he was rewarded with.

Sending my condolences with best wishes to the Kohman clan,
David Bikerman
April 29, 2010
I'll always remember Mr. Kohman's warm smile and our family's wedding photographer. We will always keep his memories close in our hearts. He will be truely missed. We send our sypathy to the who family.

Jenny and Dan Martin
April 29, 2010
Truman will always be alive for me. After 43 years of friendship, the Kohman family has been and will continue to be important people in our lives.
There have been many life cycles that we have shared!
I send my sympathy to Jane,Leslie,Paulet, Steve,Daniel, Jeff, Tom & Carolyn.
Vi Bikerman
April 29, 2010
A brilliant mind, a good heart, a loving family man and a true friend - a capsule of Truman Kohman. He will be missed, but remembered with fondness.
Michael Bikerman
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