Monday, January 16, 2006

Bertil Gustafsson:

There was a strong mathematical/numerical group at NCAR in Boulder in the late sixties, with Joe in a leading role. I came there in 1969 to work for a year. We had sent a big box of luggage by boat from Sweden, and I had difficulties finding out where it had ended up. Joe was the one who immediately helped me investigating the case, and he was one of those who gave me a strong appreciation of the American way of being so helpful.

This nice impression of the American people has followed me ever since. Joe and I had a lot of fun together, both in the professional work and in private. It continued over the years, both in Sweden and in USA. I enjoyed his hospitality, his eminent cooking, and I had good help from his talent in practical work, like carpentry.

Joe was a very tolerant man with an unusual integrity, always avoiding to speak in a negative manner about other people. He was incredibly strong, both physically and mentally. In his early years he was a sprinter at national top level. He was a rock climber, where his mental strength was extremely useful. He probably didn't even know what fear was. Later in life he switched to long distance running. I stayed at his house in Palo Alto over a weekend, and there was a 10K race Sunday morning near Fremont. Joe went up very calmly in the morning, but didn't care for any breakfast. Instead he had a cup of black coffee and a cigarette, went to Fremont, and ran the 10K in 41 minutes in 85 degrees heat.He often went cross country skiing in the California mountains, and sometimes the darkness fell when he was far away. Then he just dug himself a hole in the ten feet snow, and slept soundly in it over night.

Joe was a remarkable man. It is certainly very sad that I will not be able to see him anymore.

Bertil Gustafsson

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