Remembering Paul Dellechiaie

by David Nagler

Update 20 June 2022: Paul’s Obituary has been published.

It is with the deepest grief that I let you know I lost my friend and colleague of 37-years at 1:00 am today. If there were one aspect of Paul Dellechiaie that I would like you to know, it is that he was the kindest soul one could ever meet. He was soft spoken, never had a bad word to say, and always took adversity in stride by applying logic over emotion.

He had one incredible mind. To say Paul was an avid reader is like saying Niagara Falls flows like a bathtub faucet. He would devour books, mostly science fiction. He was well known enough in the community that his likeness even made the cover of a book. His excruciatingly detailed memory for seemingly useless pieces of information was dumbfounding, but that is exactly what made him so interesting. However, with all that rolling around he could be a bit difficult to follow in conversation. Let’s just say Paul took a circuitous route to make a point and I’d often have to nudge him back on track. I will miss the conversations we never got to have and treasure those I can remember.

Paul started at Tele Vue in May of 1985. My father met Paul at Rockland Astronomy Club star parties. Admiring his ATM ingenuity, he thought he might make a good employee. Paul, who had a master’s degree in biology, accepted my father’s offer to work at Tele Vue. Paul was only the second person outside the family hired at Tele Vue.

I was still in college then and working at Tele Vue part-time when I was home and didn’t have any film work. Paul and I went through countless hours and eyepieces together sitting across from each other at the inspection bench. Tele Vue was just out of infancy and moved from my parent’s house into an old factory building in Pearl River, NY. My mother, Joe F., and Paul were the only full-time employees. As you can imagine the three of them defined “multi-tasking.”

I started full-time at Tele Vue in 1988. I was now just the fourth full-timer. I knew my path in the company and had to work to not only do what needed to be done, but learn to manage every aspect of the company. Now full-time, Paul and I became closer friends and colleagues. However, we were always able to maintain a healthy work/friend relationship. I think, again, due to Paul’s ability to see a situation logically over emotionally, he knew any time I had to take him to task, it was justified…and we had a lot of “what were you thinking?” conversations over the years. We would even joke together that if he had worked anywhere else he would’ve been fired umpteen times over. That was never going to happen. I believed in Paul, he knew it, and most importantly to me, he appreciated that.

By 1992, the company had grown and moved to a larger facility in Suffern, NY. My father still worked full-time at his other business, but had an office (his first) in our new location. There was a particular incident with Paul, details of which I can’t remember, round about 1996 or ‘97. I called him into my father’s empty office and we sat at the small, circular conference table. The only thing I distinctly remember about that conversation was that I told Paul he had a choice. He either walks out the front door or he takes that chair. I pointed over to the empty chair in front of my father’s design computer. Paul immediately understood the challenge and opportunity before him. That’s the day he started down the path to becoming an optical designer.

Working under the tutelage of my father, optical design seemed to come naturally to Paul. He thrived but he also put in the extra effort, often spending his own time learning the mechanics of design. Really good optical design is mix of science and art. The science came easier to Paul than the art. Working together as a team with my father and myself, Paul flourished as a designer. Paul worked on many projects for us but certainly his crowning achievements were as lead designer of the Ethos, Delos, and DeLite eyepieces (the latter two an homage to his name). Paul’s legacy lives on every time one of those eyepieces is slipped into a focuser and sees the light.

Everyone at Tele Vue expresses their deepest sympathies to Paul’s wife, Jean, and mother, Rosemary. We are a small, close-knit company and Paul will forever be missed personally and professionally. He was a dedicated employee and coworker who unwaveringly had the best interest of the company at heart…and Paul had a big heart!

Sadly, Paul’s long-term health issues finally got the better of him. His wife Jean said to me that Paul didn’t think of death, he was only interested in life. True to his scientific pursuit, Paul was a Diest. So, I wish you “lightspeed” my friend.

David Nagler
President, Tele Vue Optics Inc.
June 15, 2022

22 thoughts on “Remembering Paul Dellechiaie

  • June 15, 2022 at 5:14 pm
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    So sorry to hear of the loss. He will not be soon forgotten.

  • June 15, 2022 at 6:21 pm
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    I am so sorry to hear about Paul’s death. Although I never met him, I have met your mother and father and am always so proud to own any Tele Vue products.

  • June 15, 2022 at 6:35 pm
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    I’m saddened to hear of this great personal loss for you and Jean. I’ve camped near Paul and Jean a few times, usually during the Black Forest Star Party at Cherry Springs State Park, PA. He was a very kind and humble man, especially considering his contributions and abilities. He is a great loss to the astro community.

    Thanks for publishing this memorial about Paul.

    John

  • June 15, 2022 at 6:45 pm
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    Great sympathy for the loss of a friend and colleague.
    Steve Bell, Boise

  • June 15, 2022 at 6:52 pm
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    A very touching & fitting tribute to a great man David.
    Thank you for this insight & may I extend my sympathy to Pauls family and to all of you at Televue.
    Kindest regards,
    Anthony Bailey

  • June 15, 2022 at 6:55 pm
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    David, as any good eulogy, you brought your friend to life once again with your story. Thanks for that insight into a family owned, founded and run company. My deepest condolences to your family and TeleVue compatriots. Whenever i look at my EP’s , many of which are TV’s I will think of your friend and incredible designer who became an optical designer with a biology background, quite the feat!

  • June 15, 2022 at 8:11 pm
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    God Speed Paul.
    We thank you for your valued contribution.
    You shall be missed.

  • June 15, 2022 at 8:43 pm
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    Paul Dellechiaie would have been a person I very much had wanted to meet. This was so well written and understandably empathetic, as I have known too few of such good personality and heart. U so fortunate to have experienced part of life with this guy!!! The nighttime sky is important to me, as it’s beauty is unlimited!

    Respectfully,

    J Fournet- Lafayette, LA

    The finest eyepiece ever made- 31mm Nagler type 5

  • June 15, 2022 at 8:47 pm
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    This is sad news indeed! I have a number of Televue eyepieces, and my favorite ones are the Delos Line, which feature what I regard as the optimal combo of apparent field, eye relief, and sharpness. I will think of Paul when I use them.

    In grateful appreciation,

    Kevin

  • June 15, 2022 at 8:49 pm
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    Sending heartfelt condolences and sincerely honoring your dear friend, Paul.

    “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”
    (History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides)

  • June 15, 2022 at 10:45 pm
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    My Sympathies to Paul’s Family, and to you his extended Family.
    I have spoken a few times with Al, about eyepieces, and thank him for his advice.
    Although my two TeleVue eyepieces are not of Paul’s design, I know that all of them go through the same process…. And in the end the many hours of pleasure, knowledge, and appreciation that they bring of the universe, are a testament to all of your efforts. I am sorry for your loss, and as David said hope that when we look through our eyepieces that Paul’s memory and spirit accompany us to the great unknowns.

  • June 16, 2022 at 4:58 am
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    Sorry to read this, I’ll give my 10mm Delos some light tonight in his memory.

  • June 16, 2022 at 7:17 am
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    Very sorry to hear that David. He helped pioneer the way we see the night sky. A great debt of gratitude is owed to Paul for giving us those wow moments behind the telescope. I had many. One of which was observing with your father at WSP. Thank you for sharing such a great story.

  • June 16, 2022 at 11:41 am
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    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. He was a titan in his industry and will be sorely missed by those who knew him, and to those who use the fruits of his labor when looking up at the stars.

  • June 16, 2022 at 12:39 pm
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    A thoughtful and well written eulogy. The Delite eyepieces are a real treat and the insight into how they came to be will add to the pleasure of using them.

  • June 16, 2022 at 12:58 pm
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    So sad to hear this, Paul was a really nice man, very friendly, affable and interesting to talk to. He was always great company at the shows and at the social gatherings in the evenings afterwards, he will be sadly missed

  • June 16, 2022 at 1:20 pm
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    What great positive contributions he made! How proud his family and friends should be too. It’s always hard to lose a friend, my condolences to all.

  • June 16, 2022 at 1:53 pm
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    So sorry for your loss of this dear member of your wonderful little family company.

  • June 16, 2022 at 3:52 pm
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    Sorry for the loss. Paul was very important to Televue and the entire Astro community. Every time I go outside and look into your eyepieces I think about the years of hard work designing the best eyepieces the world has ever seen and Paul had his hands in that. Clear skies to all.

  • June 16, 2022 at 4:34 pm
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    Thank you all. Look at the sky please and remember my Paul.

  • June 16, 2022 at 11:11 pm
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    As a longtine consumer and fan of Tele Vue optics I am sadended to learn of Pauls’ passing. I enjoyed meting him at NEAF several years ago. Forever clear skies Paul!

  • June 17, 2022 at 1:31 am
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    Paul will be missed by everyone who took the time to get to know him. Anyone who took the time to view the sky through any of the marvelous wonders he designed with an Ethos, Delos & DeLite will be admiring him. Even if they don’t know it because they will be enjoying the views – thanks to him and his mentors; both David and Uncle Al who taught him, encouraged him to do more and challenged him. He always stepped up to the challenges. I miss him already and only spent hours with him over the years. Still, it was plenty to get to know Paul and Jean and for them to get to know me in return.

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