The Tombaugh Window
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces honors a founding member’s scientific achievements.
By Sonja L. Cohen, Fall 2005 8.15.05, for UUWorld
Clyde Tombaugh and his wife, Patsy, helped found the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces in 1955, and he was an active member of the church until his death in 1997.
Created by Arthur J. Tatkoski and dedicated in 2001, the five-paneled window is eight feet tall and eighteen feet wide and is located on the east side of the church, where it catches the morning light. Its theme is the universe and our solar system, interspersed with depictions of Tombaugh’s childhood in Kansas, his passion for teaching, and his work with rockets, telescopes, NASA, and the White Sands missile base. A banner stretching across the panels quotes from the church affirmation:
“That all souls shall grow into harmony with creation.”
Friends and colleagues of the Tombaughs raised funds to commission the window as a gift to the 175-member congregation.