Fred Lossing

(1915-98) NRC chemist and active Ottawa Centre member. Received the Service Award in 1973.

FREDERICK P. LOSSING (1915-98) grew up in Norwich, Ontario, halfway between London and Hamilton. He attended the University of Western Ontario for his B.A. and M.A. and proceeded to McGill for his Ph.D. in Chemistry which he received in 1942. Nearly all of his career was with the National Research Council in Ottawa where he specialized in properties of gaseous ions and radicals as revealed by mass spectrometry. Since retiring from NRC, he continues to do research as a guest worker at Ottawa University and is now approaching 170 published papers.

The first record of Dr. Lossing's association with the RASC seems to date from 1952 when, at an annual meeting of the Ottawa Centre, he played the 'cello in a string quartet. Music is only one of his many talents. He became a founding member of the Ottawa Observers' Group in 1954, a group which he chaired in 1960 and '69. He personally built over a dozen telescopes, two of which were prize winners at Stellafane. He aluminized countless mirrors over a period of 30 years, and with friendly advice helped many members to produce their own instrument. His designs for an electronic drive system and an inexpensive photometer were widely used by many amateurs. As laudable as all this was, it was Fred Lossing's role in Ottawa's North Mountain Observatory which ultimately won him the Service Award in 1973. He chaired three committees responsible for the design and construction, the site and the management of the Observatory, built the electronics himself and always did more than his share of excavating, painting and mirror grinding. Once the work was complete, he was among the Observatory's most frequent and effective users. From 1975-78, Lossing served as Vice-President and President of the Centre and since 1990 has been Honorary President.

Peter Broughton (from Looking Up)

Further Reading

Lossing, Frederick P.