Archive for the ‘Obituary’ category

JML Optical celebrates the remarkable life of Gerry Lynch

May 24, 2017

ROCHESTER, NY – The JML Optical family said goodbye to one of its most accomplished members this year. Gerry Lynch was one of the first employees shortly after JML was founded in 1972. She spent the next 45 years working with the company. Gerry was one of the very first female students to attend classes at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics – before women were allowed to receive degrees in the program.

Gerry was an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Optical Society of America’s Rochester Chapter, of which she served as Treasurer. During her career she utilized over 14 difference lens design programs, including CodeV which she taught herself while in her 80’s. She designed zoom lenses used in most home movie cameras in the 1950s – 1960’s and one that was launched into space in an RCA satellite. She was a contributing designer of the original Xerox 914 copier lens that helped launch the successful Rochester company. Designing lenses from the near UV through the visible and into the near infrared, she designed thousands of lenses for zoom and non-zoom imaging applications including telescopes, scan lenses, projectors, and microscopes.

At today’s event, JML Optical’s President & CEO Bob Bicksler said “Gerry was a prolific designer whose work will continue to shape the photonics industry for generations. Her wisdom, grace and wit was evident in all facets of her life and I personally feel blessed to have known her.”

JML thanked Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo for acknowledging Gerry’s accomplishments today with an official Monroe County proclamation.

Optics Community Loses A Good Friend

May 15, 2017

A lot of people in the Optics & Photonics community will be sad to learn that we lost Sasha Pearlman on March 22nd.

Sasha was born in Lvov, Ukraine in 1950. He immigrated to Israel at the age of 17 and began studying optical engineering shortly after his time in the Israeli army. He began working in optics at a small Ray Ban assembly plant in Israel and continued doing so until moving to the United States with his wife and three sons in 1986. In Rochester, New York, Sasha worked for a couple of private optical firms including Melles Griot before eventually starting his own company, Opto-Alignment Technology, in 1992.

Since then, Sasha has done what he loves most: proudly designing and building precision optical assembly equipment with a focus on laser alignment and lens handling tools, providing optical engineering solutions and consulting services to a wide array of clients, and always doing so with a sincere emphasis on genuine customer care. He continued living out his dream and building upon his success even after moving Opto-Alignment Technology to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2002 in order to be closer to his growing family.

Sadly, Sasha was diagnosed with terminal cancer in early 2016. After over a year of treatments, he passed away on March 22, 2017 in the company of his loving wife. He is survived by his wife, Timna; his three sons, Guy, Omer, and Iftach; his six beloved grandchildren, Daniel, Eden, Orly, Yoni, Naomi, and Ethan; as well as, his brother, Eli.

Sasha is, and always will be, dearly missed by all who knew him.

“When we have achievements that are based on his; We remember him. For as long as we live, he too will live, for he is now a part of us as we remember him.”
– Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Riemer

Opto Alignment’s management team, and the company as a whole, remais committed to Sasha’s primary tenet. We will continue to take pride in our products, treat our customers with respect, and provide dependable service.

A scholarship fund in Sasha’s name has been established at UNC Charlotte, HERE.

A Colleague Needs Our Help

March 21, 2017

We Rarely Make Appeals

Many of you may know Lori Steffenilla, a long-time member of the Optics and Photonics Community.  Lori is currently the Director of Operations at GS PLASTIC OPTICS.  Previously, Lori was VP of Operations for Syntec Optics.

On December 28th 2016, Lori and her family suffered a devastating loss when her husband of 20 years, Tom, succumbed to cancer.  Tom was 50 years old.

The struggle with Tom’s illness has been draining emotionally and financially for the family.  Lori and Tom have three children, two of them teens : Jacob, 17, who graduates high school this year; Lindsey, 14; and Kassidy, 10.

With college costs being so high, the New York Cluster is promoting an opportunity for you to help the family by donating to Jacob’s college education fund.  We would not be asking if this were not a financial hardship for the family.

If you chose to help you may donate directly by check through Ugift.  There are no fees with Ugift; your entire donation will go to Jacob’s 529 account. You can make a secure gift contribution for special events (birthdays, holidays) or any time you’d like. All you need is the following Ugift code, which can be used until Jacob is out of college.

Jacob’s Ugift code: R14-Q4A

To make a gift contribution using Ugift:

1. Go to Ugift529
2. Enter the Ugift code: R14-Q4A
3. Enter your name and the amount of your gift.
4. Make your gift via electronic funds transfer or check.

Ugift does not accept credit card contributions.  To make it easy for you to donate by credit card or Paypal account, the Cluster is accepting donations that we will then contribute to Jacob Steffenilla’s Ugift account.  We will then submit a check for direct deposit into the tax free 529 plan.

We are offering this option so that you don’t need to go through the process of writing the check and sending it, or arranging for a funds transfer.   When you donate using a credit card through us there is a small fee deducted by the credit card processor.

The choice is yours.

Thank you for considering this meaningful gift of helping Jacob’s dream of college become a reality.

A link to Tom Steffenilla’s obituary.

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In Memoriam: Our Good Friend

December 2, 2015

The Rochester Optics Community has lost a beloved member of our family.  Rick Nasca died suddenly on Tuesday night, December 2nd.  He was only 57.

Rick spent his entire career at Tropel, and was optical manufacturing / finishing technology leader.  He was passionate about optics education and devoted a great deal of time to MCC’s program on behalf of Corning, recognizing and rewarding students in the industry, and encouraging young people to pursue careers in optics.  He was past president of APOMA (American Precision Optics Manufacturers Association).

Rick leaves behind a wife and two daughters that he adored, a family and friends that will miss him dearly, as well as all of us in the optics community.

Rick’s obituary is here.

SPIE Memorialized Rick Here.

Miss you, buddy.

Richard Nasca
February 14, 1958 – December 2, 2015


Friends gathered on Friday, December 4th to celebrate his life.

Rick’s service was on Saturday, December 5 at  10:00am