calculations. He forgot much about his life in America and eventually even lost his ability to clearly recognize family members. After Mum’s death in 2002, Dad came to live with my wife and me from January 2003 until February 2006, when he entered a nursing home. Once we learned the art of care giving, these years were the most rewarding of my life. Remarkably, his personality remained essentially unchanged by Alzheimer’s disease. He remained gentle, reasonable, optimistic, and helpful, and he always loved to eat.
In spite of the ravages of Alzheimer’s, Dad never forgot three early mentors. Edgar Brining “Boss” Hewlett was Dad’s scoutmaster, who led his charges on camping expeditions to the Lake District and North Wales, and instilled in Dad a love of hiking, camping, and the outdoors. Boss was also ahead of his time in warning his scouts about the dangers of smoking and drinking. Dad always attributed his longevity to Boss’s advice on smoking. George Millward, headmaster of King George V, had been a keen student at Caius College, Cambridge, and he loved mathematics, physics, and science in general. He instilled his passion in a small select group of boys including Dad and one lone girl, who had to suffer the embarrassment of walking over to class from the girls’ school. Finally, Stephen “Timmie” Timoshenko was Dad’s Ph.D. supervisor during an eventful two years at Stanford when Dad met my mother, shared an apartment with Nick Hoff, skied in the Sierras, drove around the U.S. in the summer of 1939 with another commonwealth fellow, and, according to family legend, in the final month of his stay at Stanford wrote his thesis entitled “The behavior of a mass striking a beam.”
In his years with us Dad had lost all his memories of the 43 years as a professor at Brown, Stanford, and Rensselaer. In order to prompt what was left of his memory we constructed a “memory wall” in the dining room with pictures of Dad throughout his life, with fellow scouts, with family, with colleagues, and while lecturing. We always tried to remind him of who he had been: He was a teacher loved by his many graduate students. He was a prized colleague, who was always collegial. He was an outstanding researcher on the behavior of