Ed was a Optical Society (OSA) Fellow Emeritus and they published this obituary
, which contains much information on his work in that field.
Ed Palik Obituary
by NAJVS Publications Committee
from Extraordinary Voyages Vol. 15, June 2009, 10-11
We found out recently that one of the Society’s chief benefactors Ed Palik passed away. Ed’s selfless donations to this society’s treasury for the purpose of getting Verne’s untranslated works translated into English is one of the primary reasons we were able to get Journey Through the Impossible published. When we learned the news of his death, Jean-Michel wrote the following letter to Ed’s widow:
Dear Mrs. Palik,
I have just learned that your husband recently passed away. As President of the North American Jules Verne Society, I wish to express my deep condolences, as well as the sympathy of all our members, in America and abroad.
Jules Verne was your husband’s passion and he showed it in many different ways, mainly in supporting the translation and publication works that our Society does to rehabilitate Verne as a real and true writer in America.
In 2005, we were able to publish Journey Through the Impossible, mainly with Ed’s help. This play, never published before in English, was a milestone in the history of our efforts to “rescue” Verne as a writer in the Anglo-Saxon world.
The recent donation Ed made to NAJVS of his Verne collection to be sold among our members will bring once more the help we will need to promote new translations.
We would like to publish in our newsletter a page honoring his involvement in NAJVS and I would like to ask you if you could help us with a biography of Ed and a few photographs to do it.
Once again, please accept our condolences on Ed’s passing. All of us will miss him very much.
Jean-Michel Margot, President
North American Jules Verne Society
But as we learn from his Washington Post obituary (5/22/09) and Susan Palik’s letter back to Jean-Michel, Ed did so much more:
EDWARD D. PALIK, 80, of Fort Washington, Md., died Thursday, May 7, 2009, at Southern Maryland Hospital of complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was born in Elyria, Ohio, on September 21, 1928, the youngest of three boys. He attended Elyria High School, and earned a doctorate in Physics from Ohio State University. He worked as a physicist for the Naval Research Laboratory, Department of Defense, from 1958 to 1988. Mr. Palik wrote and edited a set of reference books on optical constants, and was in the process of editing another book at the time of his death. He married Susan Elizabeth Young on September 14, 1957, in Bellefontaine, Ohio. They had three children, Ann, Arthur and Ted. Mr. Palik enjoyed playing tennis, collecting Batman comic books and historic encyclopedias, and was a member of the Jules Verne Society.
Survivors include his wife, Susan, of Fort Washington; a daughter, Ann, and son-in-law, Scott, of Torrance, Calif.; a son Arthur, of Manassas, Va., and a son Ted, and daughter-in-law, Jennifer, of Harrisburg, Pa.; three sisters-in-law, Evelyn B. Palik of Ashland, Ohio, Margaret Cornely of Jacksonville, Fla., and Rosemary LaBatt of Bellefontaine, Ohio; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, John, in 1971; his mother, Christina (nee Dinga) Palik, in 1988, and brothers John in 2000 and Emil in 2008.
A memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family. As per Mr. Palik’s wishes, his body was donated to Georgetown University School of Medicine, where he will continue to contribute to science. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation or a favorite charity.
Ed’s wife, Susan Palik responded with the following letter:
Dear Mr. Margot,
Thank you for your kind letter of May 18. I am pleased to hear that Ed was able to help you regarding the publication of
“Through the Impossible.” I am enclosing a copy of the notice which our son, Ted, composed. I would add that Ed spent many years as a member of our South Potomac Citizens’ Association. As a result, he won an award in 2002, entitled “Citizens Concerned for a Cleaner County - Prince Georges.”
Brian Taves offers this remembrance of Ed.
Back in the mid-1980s, long before the birth of NAJVS, Verne enthusiasts began to exchange addresses, write one another, and trade needed books, or information about what dealers had for sale. It was in this context that I first met Ed Palik via a letter in 1985. Dozens more followed. Although in many cases book needs overlapped, we were able to help one another, and the amounts exchanged seem trifling by today’s prices—although they seemed dear nearly a quarter-century ago!
Looking at my file of letters, I see Ed’s early interest in translations. By 1989, Steve Michaluk and I were already planning what became The Jules Verne Encyclopedia. I discussed with Ed the untranslated Verne books and plays unearthed in our research, and our plans to include the first English version of “The Humbug,” which interested him. He suggested translations of Verne could become projects for French-language graduate students, and was in contact with academics to investigate this possibility. Ed was also interested in title variations, and securing the different existing translations.
Ed’s other passion was collecting old physics textbooks, back to the 19th century.
I visited Ed once, some 19 years ago, when I was traveling from California to Washington, D. C. A delightful evening was spent in his home, poring over his collection. I still have a couple of books he gave me then, treasured volumes now in my own collection. We also lunched at a number of antiquarian book fairs in the region over the years.
At this time, Mark Eckell and I have begun the inventory of his collection, 17 boxes donated to be sold to help fund further Verne translations. The task of going through these volumes is more pleasurable knowing they were given by a man who bequeathed them in such a way as to insure their continued enjoyment, as well as a practical benefit to the society.
Stay tuned to this newsletter and/or an e-mail communication from the board once we’ve it’s been determined how we will turn this collection into funds.