In Memory of Our Friends and Colleagues

Chen-Hanson Ting

photo of Ting at Forth Day 2019

Chen-Hanson Ting - August 29, 1939 - May 30, 2022

Chen-Hanson Ting was born in Kun-Ming, Yun-Nan, China, son of Chen-Wei and Ya-Hgoo (Hwang) Ting. He came to the United States in 1975.

He was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree from the National Taiwan U. in 1961 and a Master of Science and PhD degrees in Chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1963 and 1965.

He was a Research Fellow at the California Institute Technology, Pasadena from 1965-1967, visiting Associate Professor at National Taiwan U., Taipei from 1967-1969, Professor of Chemistry at Chung-Cheng Institute Technology, Taoyuan, Taiwan from 1969-1975, a staff scientist at Lockheed Missile and Space Company in Palo Alto, California from 1976-1988, a software engineer at Maxtor Corporation in San Jose, California from 1988-1989, a staff software engineer at Applied Biosystems, Foster City, California from 1989-2000, and Vice President of the Forth Interest Group in San Jose from 1990-1991.

Chen-Hanson Ting is listed as a noteworthy Software Engineer by Marquis Who's Who. (unconfirmed)

As an American software engineer, Chen-Hanson Ting's achievements include the design and programming of a high-energy real time radiographic inspection system and a catalyst microbiology workstation (patent pending). He designed, implemented, and developed the eForth computer language on multiple microprocessors including Arduino, MSP430, and ARM. He authored several FPGA-based microprocessors in VHDL: eP8, eP16, eP24, and eP32. The documentation of these efforts were offered by Offete Enterprises, starting in 1975 and are now available online. He was the recipient of the Figgy Award from the Forth Interest Group in 1986.

He is survived by his wife and three children.


Robert L. Smith

photo of Bob at Forth Day 2005

Robert LeRoy Smith

Robert LeRoy Smith passed away on Friday, September 3, 2021, at the age of 90.

Bob was a Stanford University Research Physicist whose work took him to Antarctica. He was also a Software Engineer, programming his first computer in 1955. He belonged to the early computer clubs in Palo Alto (he thought Wozniak was brilliant, but didn’t care much for Jobs). He re-wrote the Forth-79 Standard compiler to handle complex number arithmetic and created an improved algorithm for complex division. He was also a member of the IEEE Floating Point Standards committee as well as Secretary for the Forth Standards Team.

Bob was an accomplished accordion player, starting lessons when he was 10. In his retired years, he was a member of the San Francisco Accordion Club and the San Francisco Accordion Chamber Ensemble.


LaFarr Stuart

photo of LaFarr Stuart - 2004

LaFarr Stuart

LaFarr Stuart passed away peacefully with family by his side on July 26, 2021.

LaFarr worked for Control Data Corporation. The company that designed the first commercial super computer. He also worked for RCA and Zytrex. He invented and patented the digital computer clock.

LaFarr and Robert L. Smith developed LaForth concurrently with figForth in 1978-79. Both of them actively participated on the Forth Implementation Team which released the figForth Model on six different microprocessors in 1979. However, LaFarr was not satisfied with the figForth Model, so he put his many ideas into LaForth and used it to demonstrate the results of his experimentations. In one of the FIG meetings, he jokingly introduced himself by announcing that “I'm mutilating Forth”.

LaFarr said, "I was invited to give a talk at the Silicon Valley FIG Meeting on 2007 September 22. I like talking with this group. I know of no other group that have more in depth knowledge of their computers. Forth almost requires and appeals to that sort of user."


Bill Muench

photo of Bill Muench by Dave Jaffe 06/23/2018

Bill Muench

Bill Muench (Bee) went into a coma during surgery to remove a recently-found pituitary gland tumor affecting his vision. There were complications, and according to a friend “Bee stopped breathing at 11:46. His heart stopped 10 minutes later." - reported by John Rible on September 5, 2019

Bill lived in Santa Cruz, CA where he bicycled and hiked. He started working with computers in 1979 and Forth in 1987, is the author of eForth, and has built development systems for many CPUs. He worked in the tropics interfacing computers with tracking equipment to study marine mammals. Since 1985 he maintained Macintosh computers for graphic designers and non-profit organizations. He also worked as a web and database designer and helped produce music CD artwork. For six years, he was in a band playing Shona marimba music of Zimbabwe. - adapted from GreenArrays' website

There was a memorial gathering for Bee on Friday, September 27th at the Henry Cowell State Park Picnic Area 1 in Felton. Potluck food was dropped off 10-10:30 before folks went off on various-length hikes throughout the park (Bill was a member of a hiking meetup there). Food (consumption) and celebration was from 1-3pm. Everyone was welcome. - John Rible

Wil Baden

photo of Wil Baden

Will Baden - 10 June 1928 - 9 November 2016.

"This is the man who, as a boy, lived in Hollywood and was an extra in a crowd scene in an "Our Gang" episode about a birthday party."

"This is the man whose father took him to the World Science Fiction Convention, in 1939."

"He took the bus to visit John W. Campbell Jr. at Astounding Science Fiction magazine's offices. While at Princeton University, he had tea with Albert Einstein. (Which wasn't unusual at the time, all the incoming freshmen did.)"

"He was always good with languages. One day, a man from the government asked the head of the languages department if he could be introduced to the students who were especially good with the following languages? Which is how he ended up spending a summer translating Russian mathematics papers."

"He was active in the New York lodge of the Masons. He was a performer -- he was part of a comedy troupe called the Rusty Brothers. His favorite bit was where a mason who'd been away from the lodge for a while is trying to remember the correct secret handshake. It illustrated that you could do comedy without speaking a word."

"He learned Hebrew, and translated the news from Israel into English for the lodge newsletters to benefit the Jewish readers."

"He worked for a private detective firm for a while, doing secret audits of New York drive-in movie theaters. At the intermission he'd walk down the aisles between the cars, with a mechanical counter in one hand and his date's hand in the other. He'd click the clicker for each car he walked passed, and for each time his date squeezed his hand for one on her side. He saw a lot of movies."

"As a computer programmer, he was active in what we would now call the Open Source movement. He was a big fish in a shallow pond. The users group for mid-sized IBM computers was called "COMMON" (named after a Fortran statement), and he was active in that group for many years. He ended up on the Fortran '77 Standards Committee, which is when the Fortran language added "structured programming" to its library. (Before, with Fortran '66, implemented on IBM as Fortran IV, we only had IF, GO TO, and DO loop constructs. All those { } you see in modern languages? We didn't have them back then.)"

"When the family moved to California, he would answer the door on Halloween in his black cassock, white makeup, with the lights out and tall candles burning ... and demand that the kids do a "trick" to get a treat. This was something he learned from being a kid in the Depression - you don't get something for nothing. You could whistle with a mouth full of peanut butter, or sing Pumpkin Carols, or do a cheer routine or somersaults - anything, really."

"When his four kids were at College Park Elementary School, he'd come and read The Hobbit and Charlie & The Chocolate Factory at school. Decades later, the school librarian still remembered him fondly."

"He was active in the Forth programming language world, and was invited by the Chinese government as part of a group of Western computer scientists to come and give lectures. So he learned Mandarin, to be able to give his speeches in Chinese. He was invited back, two or three years later, and did it again."

"He'd bring us into his work on weekends, and we could play Hangman on the computer. No video monitors, each move resulted in another sheet of paper printing out on the huge line printer. I asked him how it was possible for a computer to play a game. Because of that question, I have a career."

"He took me to the very first convention I ever attended, a "COMMON" conference in Minneapolis. (At the Leamington, which was later home for Minicon for many years.) We flew on Northwest Orient Airlines. I remember it was spring, and there was snow on the ground, and I ordered a lemonade in the bar and charged it to our room."

"For awhile, he worked for the Arabian-American Oil Co. (ARAMCO) in Houston, staying for a week or so and flying home. TWA, the airline, actually issued him a wooden plaque acknowledging him as a frequent flyer. There was a possibility of him (and all of us) getting relocated to Riyadh, so he learned Arabic. The course at Orange Coast College was short on students and in danger of getting canceled, so some of us in the family joined him there. Our Arab teacher told us that each word in Arabic has four meanings: its primary meaning; the exact opposite; something obscene; and something to do with a camel."

"He learned about the Doctor Demento radio show on KMET, four hours each Sunday night, and we all started listening to it. He and mom performed Tom Lehrer's "Irish Ballad" at a church talent show once, along with "There's a Hole in the Bucket." "

"When he was recovering from a medical procedure about ten years ago, at a nursing facility, he brought along his old Spanish grammar book so he could communicate with the Spanish-speaking staff. They called him El Viejo."

"He had a life-long interest in shorthand, both the handwritten kind and alphabetic abbreviations. The system started by the telegraphers, back in the 19th century, was something he worked on updating and expanding."

"In the last few years, as he was going deaf and his eyesight was failing, he started studying Esperanto."

Reported by Chaz Boston Baden, his son on Facebook

Wil Baden aka Neil Bawd (1928-2016) Memorial Party and Sing-along

Saturday, 21 January 2017, 2:00-4:00 pm
Sierra Room, Balearic Community Center
1975 Balearic Drive
Costa Mesa CA 92626

"Wil Baden once told his children that when he died, we should have a party."

"So, with Mom's permission, we are doing just that. We are going to have some of his favorite snacks, and sing songs from the Dr. Seuss and Tom Lehrer songbooks. He sang us peculiar lullabies when we were small, acompanied us on piano from time to time, introduced us to the Doctor Demento show, and performed duets with Mom on occasion."

"We expect to have newspaper swordfights, and play some "Halloween Games," and talk about some of our favorite memories of growing up."

Hosted by the Baden children - Dorothy, Elaine, Chas., and Thomas.


Obituary on SF Site
Photo (Sunday 18-Aug-2002)

Photos from 1984 Forth Workshop in Tapei
Photos contributed by Bill Ragsdale

Photo of Will at 1984 Forthh Workshop in Tapei

At the National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan

Photo of Will at 1984 Forthh Workshop in Tapei

At the Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China

John (Sandy) Bumgarner

photo of Sandy Bumbarger

Sandy Bumgarner has passed away.

"He fought a courageous six year battle with cancer. I believe the Forth group meeting is coming up and if you could pass this information to others, I would appreciate it. I have planned a memorial service to be held at the Unitarian Church, 825 Middlefield Road, Petaluma, on May 14th at 11:00 am. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery, 304 Magnolia Avenue, Petaluma, with lunch following at Graffiti Restaurant, 101 2nd Street, Petaluma. It would be wonderful to have anyone who would like to come attend. I thank you for the friendship you shared and I know how much he enjoyed the Forth Interest Group. I hope to see you May 14th."

Reported by Sherry Bumgarner (his wife)

Sandy's Twitter

Glen B. Haydon

photo of Glen Haydon at Forth Day 2003

Glen Haydon passed away at home on March 12, 2016

He was a good friend to me, for many years, and of course was one of the great characters at FIG, Mountain View Press, and was accomplished at many endeavors outside the Forth subset of the universe. His wife Helen survives him, and is still living in the home they built together among the coastal foothills.


Reported by Marlin Ouverson

Glen B. Haydon

Jeff Fox

photo of Jeff Fox

Jeff Fox died at 62 of a heart attack some time before 1030 PDT this morning (May 4, 2011), at his home in Berkeley. His ex-wife Jane, who had been helping him take good care of himself, came back from an hour's errands to find him slumped over his computer. She called for medical assistance and immediately applied CPR but apparently it was just too long after the event. This was a surprise as Jeff's recovery from an earlier episode of congestive heart failure had apparently been going very well.

Jeff asked to be cremated and will share his back yard with his cat.

Jane said that Jeff specifically did not want a memorial or anything. We can each remember him in our own ways, together or apart as seems best.

Reported by Greg Bailey

Death Notice in San Francisco Chronicle

Dave Boulton

Photo of Dave Boulton

Dave Boulton died on Saturday, October 10, 2009.

"There will be a service for Dave at 1 pm on October 23rd. It will be held in the Pacific Chapel at Skylawn. I hope each of you can spread the word and bring as many of Dave’s associates to the service – I would love to have a full house."

"Skylawn is located on Highway 92 at Skyline Blvd."

"We need to have photos to place into the guest book and put on display at the service. As Dave is being cremated the urn will be at the service. If I have not already told you, he donated his cornea so that two more people in the world will have sight."

Dave's cousin Bette

Memorial Invitation - 233 Kb pdf

The Forth Interest Group (FIG) was started by Bill Ragsdale, Kim Harris, John James, Dave Boulton, Dave Bengel, Tom Olsen, and Dave Wyland. They introduced the concept of a FIG Forth Model, a publicly available Forth system that could be implemented on popular computer architectures.

Dave and Sandy Bumgarner worked at Jef Raskin's Information Appliance where he programmed all of the many printer drivers for the Canon Cat.

Dave was credited with the phrase: Never trust a computer which you cannot lift.

Dave wrote a Life program for the Jupiter Ace.

Here is what Dave wrote about himself on December 9, 2007:

"I did a big push for cell phone browsers a few years back at Openwave Systems, then I took some time off. I'm now working up to a new generation of wireless internet stuff."

Herman Griffin

Photo of Herman Griffin

Herman L. Griffin Jr. (June 27, 1933 to Sept 6, 2008) passed away peacefully at the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital after a brief illness.

Herman grew up in Jefferson, PA and Ashland, OH, graduating from Ashland High School in 1952. He was a Korean War Veteran and later attended Ohio State University. In 1959 he came to California and worked at various electronic companies in the Silicon Valley. He had an inquisitive mind and a lifelong love of computers and tinkering.

He is survived by his wife Jacqueline, son Mark (Heather) Griffin of Anqwin, CA, daughter Beth (Eric) Whitmore of Palo Alto and four grandchildren: Emily and Clair Griffin and David and Julie Whitmore. He is also survived by his brother Edwin (Marjorie) Griffin of Westfield Center, OH and many nieces and nephews.

A gathering of friends and family in honor of his memory will take place at one of his favorite places; The Computer History Museum on Friday, Sept 26th at 2pm, 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View, CA.

In lieu of flowers, any memorial donations may be made to the Cancer Research Institute or a charity of your choosing.

Sympathy cards can be sent to:

Jackie Griffin
3617 Ramona Circle
Palo Alto, CA  94306

Trace Carter

Photo of Trace Carter

Trace Carter, Skip's wife, died suddenly on June 6th, 2006 of a brain hemorrhage resulting from the rupture of an unknown - to them - vascular anomaly. She ran the FIG office during Skip Carter's time as FIG President and handled all the membership, fulfillment, and sales.

Notes from Trace's Memorial Service at the Unity Church of Monterey Bay - Saturday, June 24th, 2006.

Henrik Thurfjell

Photo of Henrik Thurfjell

Long-time Forth devotee and friend, Henrik Thurfjell, passed away on January 17, 2006. SVFIG created a scrapbook of photographs and messages for presentation to Henrik's family at the memorial. His wife, Laila, wrote a letter to thank SVFIG members for the album.

Min Moore

photo of Min Moore

Min Moore, Chuck's wife, passed away January 11, 2006. In addition to being the wife of the inventor of the Forth programming language and the mother of their son, Eric, she taught and practiced weaving and spinning at Elkus Ranch in Half Moon Bay. A recent newsletter memorializes her contributions there.

Bob Reiling

photo of Bob Reiling

Bob Reiling passed away on May 5, 1999. He was the primary organizer of the annual FORML Conference, editor of the Homebrew Computer Club Newsletter, co-organizer of the first West Coast Computer Faire, and a past President of the Forth Interest Group. Lee Felsenstein reflects on Bob's contributions.

In Memory of Friends and Colleagues on FIG website.

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