E. Ruth Hedeman, 95, astronomer

January 29, 2006

E. Ruth Hedeman, a retired solar astronomer and World War II veteran, died Wednesday of heart failure at BayWoods of Annapolis retirement community. She was 95.

Born Emma Ruth Hedeman in Baltimore, she was raised in Hamilton. A 1928 graduate of Eastern High School, she earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Goucher College in 1931.

Miss Hedeman, who was known as Ruth, earned a master's degree in mathematics from Duke University in 1936.

She taught math at Eastern High School until 1942, when she joined the Navy WAVES -- Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service.

Miss Hedeman, who was stationed in Seattle as a meteorologist, attained the rank of lieutenant.

After leaving the Navy in 1945, she earned a master's degree in astronomy from the University of Michigan in 1948.

For nearly 40 years, until moving to Falls Church, Va., in 1985, she was a solar astronomer with the McMath-Hulbert Observatory at the University of Michigan.

She was the author of several papers that are referenced today, family members said, including "Time Variations in Solar Activity," "Catalogue of Solar Particle Events 1955-1969" and "Experimental Comprehensive Flare Indices for Certain Flares 1970-1974."

Miss Hedeman was a world traveler who completed an around-the-world trip in 1973.

"She would always return to Baltimore twice a year to visit her family," said Jody Couser, a niece.

A memorial gathering will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. today at the John M. Taylor Funeral Home, 147 Duke of Gloucester St., Annapolis.

Also surviving are a brother, Dr. John L. Hedeman of Annapolis; and many nieces and nephews.

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