Please contribute tributes to David on this page below, or longer stories and/or photos under the Stories tab. And please visit the photo gallery for a visual celebration of David's long and wonderful life.

Condolences or related inquires can also be emailed to

Persons interested in attending a Memorial Celebration for David (date and location TBD) 
should also send email to requesting to be added to the notification list.

Posted by Andrea Luce on April 15, 2020
Missing you, Dad and grateful for all you taught me. Realizing I am so lucky to have had such a kind and generous father. I mostly miss your zest for life and new ideas and progress. Also your humorous outlook on life, and of course for making me always feel loved and safe.
Posted by Skip Mahler on April 17, 2019
Your foresight and love of synthesis paved the way for countless musicians who may never have had the chance to enjoy the warmth and depth of Moog Synthesizers and polyphony. Godspeed, Dave.
Posted by Joe Zelvin on April 15, 2019
Dave was the finest inspiration as my boss at Reichert. I miss him and think of him often.
Posted by Maryjane Luce on April 15, 2019
We said goodby to Dave two years ago today. I miss him and the music that was always with him every day. He was ever adventurous, supportive and faithful, my rock in this tumultuous world. 
Posted by Lisanne Norman on April 15, 2019
Thinking of Dave and the Luce family today. I miss you Dave.
Love, Lisanne
Posted by John Burgess on April 15, 2019
On rereading the tributes to Dave, I reflect on how much he was respected, loved, and is now missed.
Posted by Lisanne Norman on August 8, 2018
I don't have any stories to tell today. I just want to say that Dave was always very kind to me. I know he loved his family and friends very much and I miss him. He definitely brought music into this world in more ways than one.
Posted by Skip Mahler on August 4, 2018
Hello dr. Dave, remembering how much time you spent teaching me synthesis, how to replicate and create. I will never forget those years and your generosity and true friendship. You were the brother I never had. Godspeed.
Posted by Joe Zelvin on October 16, 2017
I will always miss the humor side of Dave and glad to have it when studying a serious problem in ophthalmology which was my adopted field.
Posted by Julie Wallin on August 8, 2017
Andrea, Ben, Tina & Mary Jane (fondly, my 2nd mom in high school)
I am so sorry to hear about Dave’s passing, and reading these tributes warmed my heart with memories of Dave & the wonderful Luce family. You always opened your doors and arms to me growing up, and I am so grateful. Dave took me (all of us) on the first backpacking trip that I ever went on (in VT – remember?), which I’ll never forget. The pictures were wonderful – thank you for sharing! I only shared in the warmth of your family & Dave’s love for you all for a short time, but it was truly a gift.
Posted by Chuck White on August 4, 2017
Pyra's comment on Dave liking pizza reminded me of a lunch I had with Dave and several coworkers. We had some rolls on the table and Dave commented how microwaving bread polymerizes it, basically turning it into plastic. I agree with him to this day and never microwave bread, even if technically it isn't true. The effect is the same. :)
Posted by Pyra Hannah on August 4, 2017
Dave loved the good things of life especially food. He would eat pizza after midnight! He lived the artist's life despite not being a musical performer himself. He had all sorts of musical contraptions including an authentic crank-up gramophone from the early 20th century. I will never forget my summer in the Luce household.
Posted by Joe Zelvin on July 26, 2017
Dave was the greatest boss I could have conceived. He was kind, generous, and understanding and a great Teacher.
Posted by Michael Patterson on June 6, 2017
Sharon and I been friends with Dave and Mary Jane for nearly thirty years. We live a few blocks away in Clarence Center and have spent many evenings with them playing Contract Bridge. We also know Ben, Tina, and Andrea from their holiday visits.                     Beginning in 1960 Dave and Mary Jane played key roles in the Clarence Concert Association that provides outdoor summer orchestra concerts by professional musicians. Dave acted as the sound engineer and Mary Jane as Treasurer. In 1997 Dave recruited me to increase donations from concert attendees and the Clarence Town Board.                                 
Sharon and I especially enjoyed speaking with Dave about the scientific principles he applied when developing the Moog synthesizer and more recently his development of the Ocular Response Analyzer. We miss hearing about his new ideas and observing him develop his strategy for a difficult Bridge Contract.                                  Dave was a very special friend and these fond memories will always be with us. Sharon and I hope to continue spending time with Mary Jane and hearing about Ben, Tina, Andrea, and their spouses and children.
Posted by Skip Mahler on June 6, 2017
I can recall spending countless days at MOOG music many years ago.He welcomed me to the company and showed me everything about synthesizes that one could learn. I was allowed to use every synthesizer they made, including prototypes. When I was at a local gig in the Buffalo area, if I had a problem with a synthesizer, he would come over that evening and work on it with me at the gate. When I was on the road if I needed service, he would open the factory up on a Sunday and spend the day with me there. I will never forget his generosity or friendship.
Posted by Christine Dragoo on June 1, 2017
I very much enjoyed viewing all the family photos.All the good memories eases the pain of ones loss.I still occasionally go through the cards and notes I received after Fran passed and it makes me feel better.I have personally benefited from Uncle Dave's work developing tools to diagnose glaucoma.I know how hard it is to loose a loved one and my thoughts are with you all at this difficult time.
Posted by David Taylor on May 20, 2017
It's taken me a while to write this because it is nearly impossible to summarize the impact that David Luce (Dave) had on my life. I had the pleasure and honor of working with Dr. Luce at Reichert for the past 17 years. In that time he became more than a colleague to me, he became a mentor and a dear friend. As a 27 year old rookie, I began working with Dr. Luce on his greatest invention: the Ocular Response Analyzer (ORA). At that time, Dave was 65 and he was probably thinking about retirement. I am sure the last thing on his mind was teaching a young marketing kid about physics and science. But I had to write a video script to help explain his new invention, and so our relationship began. During the coming years, we spent countless hours together: In his office, at trade shows, at dinners, and traveling around the world together - educating anyone who would listen about Dave's invention. With each successive conversation, over dinner or on a trip, I became more and more aware that I was in the presence of true genius - and in the presence of a great human being. Together we rode the ups and downs of launching a product and convincing the world of its importance. The path to success is never a straight line and I admired Dave's determination and resilience every time things looked bleak. He taught me, though his actions and ways, how to persevere in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds (...he taught me so much more than that). Ultimately the product, now in its 3rd generation, became a success. Now, it is very difficult for me to comprehend that we are in the post-Luce era of Reichert. I enjoyed every visit to his office, every dinner conversation, every trip, and every phone call. I am blessed and honored to have met Dave. I can confidently say that he has had a bigger impact on my life than perhaps anyone I have ever met. I love him dearly, I will always be grateful for everything he taught me, for the career his genius has given me, and for the friendship that I think of every day.
Posted by Joe Zelvin on May 11, 2017
I worked for Dave for several years as a consultant, and after that was proud to call him a friend. He was the epitome of a great boss. He trusted me to develop ideas that were not in my accustomed field, which helped me to grow professionally. After my stint with Reichert (Leica) we remained friends and visited with our wives a number of times. Dave was always upbeat and had a great sense of humor always at the ready. I will miss him as a great friend.
Posted by Sharon Patterson on May 6, 2017
Hi Mary Jane and Ben , Tina and Andrea,

I have listened to your memorial almost daily. The music is wonderful and the memories and pictures perfect. These few minutes each time I listen and watch, give great comfort to Mike and I in having known all of you. Much Love from us.
Posted by Ben Luce on May 1, 2017
As posted on a different site:

Mrs. Luce and family. I know we are only your tenants, but Taylor and the kids and myself thought of you all as family. Our hearts are completely broken as we lost the sweetest man we have ever known. Please just always remember that " Heaven was needing a hero" and today God chose him. He is a lucky man. If you get a chance please listen to "Heaven was needing a hero" it is by Reba Mcentire. We are going to miss Dave dearly and you all when we move out of here. We thought this was our forever home. If you need anything please let us know. Just think. He isn't suffering any more. He is an angel of God. ~Fly High Dave~
Lori Arne and Aiden Arne Taylor Walter and Austin Arne Walter
Posted by Phyllis Handelman on May 1, 2017
For Maryjane,
The good times, shared wine, major decisions, BU,Harvard,MIT,anacoic chambers, Clarence Center, Vermont, Chicago,Evanston, first kids at the same time; a lifetime of events spread out over the years, In touch , not in touch but always with you. Dave will be missed but always rememberd. Love, Phyllis& Chet
Posted by Phyllis Handelman on May 1, 2017
For Maryjane,
Shared w one, great talks, BU, Harvard, MIT
Posted by Jack Levert on April 27, 2017
Dear Maryjane,
My mother, Cindy and I are all deeply saddened by Dave's death.
My mother and father considered you and Dave very close friends and enjoyed everything from tennis dates in Natick to ski vacations in Vermont to theatric to Europe you all took together, My father enjoyed Dave's company very much, in particular his enormous range of interests his sense of humor, and his great good spirits.
Cindy and I remember, too, the times we spent with you and Dave at the cabin. (My parents met Cindy, my future wife, for the first time when she and I came up from NY to the cabin, where you and my parents were spending the weekend together, and we all helped shingle the roof.
And then, still a long time ago- perhaps 1970?- Dave told me where the key was hidden and invited us to stay at the cabin any time. I remember going there one winter weekend without telling you and remember the graciousness you both showed when you yourselves came the next day and discovered us there. That was before there was heat or indoor plumbing, and the four of us had a lovely time. There are many other memories, of evenings drinking and talking, always lively, always interesting, always full of good spirits.
We'll miss Dave. These memories will keep him in our hearts.
Jack LeVert
Posted by David Biggins on April 25, 2017
My first AAO was 1988 in Vegas, I flew in from London and headed straight to the hotel hot tub to meet my Reichert colleagues. We were sitting around the tub drinking beers except for one person who was just spinning around in the tub and blowing bubbles, eventually I asked is he with us? Oh yes was the reply, that is Dave Luce, our new R&D Director. So began a 25 year career working with Dave, one of the most intelligent people I have ever known. As others have said, Dave would take the time to explain things in a way that "others" could understand, it was never to much trouble for him. It was always a pleasure to travel with Dave and listen to his stories, we have lost a great man with a wonderful sense of humour and zest for life. God's Speed Dave you are missed by so many.
Posted by Ron Juhre on April 23, 2017
So many fond memories of the times we spent with David. Play racquetball at 6 AM before going to work at Moog. A 28 day National Lampoon's minivan trip out west with Dave and Mary Jane. Our many trips to the cabin in Vermont. Cross country and downhill ski adventures. Many Christmases spent with the Luce family. These are memories that we will cherish forever. And most of all being a true friend. Thanks Dave.
Posted by John Burgess on April 22, 2017
I worked with Dave for about six years. I called him our "Royal Smart Person", which I cribbed from Sesame Street. If there was something I did not understand, or needed to learn, I would go to Dave to get my answers. He never disappointed me. After many years of struggles at Reichert we were able to create an environment that enabled Dave to release his creativeness, and from that came the ORA and a body of work that has been peer reviewed and embraced by a demanding profession. A visit to Dave's lab was always a delight, and it was part of my daily routine. He was always patient with his explanations, and listened to most of my ideas except the one regarding not wearing sandles on business trips( and I deliberately use the word trips).
I admired Dave for what he knew, I loved him for his intellectual honesty. We have lost a friend, a talent, a truly good man, but we will never forget him. Go in peace Dave.
Posted by Pyra Hannah on April 22, 2017
Dave Luce was one of my late father's best friends. They played tennis all summer until the Luce family moved to NY State. Dave and my composer father worked tirelessly on not only the prototype Moog synthesizer but on orchestral instrument sampling. I followed along with all this research and in 1973 during my college summer vacation I worked for Dave at the Moog synthesizer factory in the Buffalo area. Dave did amazing things developing the synthesizers and he should be credited as an essential founder of the electronic music culture that revolutionized music all over the world.
Posted by Chris Burfoot on April 20, 2017
To The Luce Family,

My family and I send our deepest condolences and are saddened to hear of your loss.

I am thankful that I had the opportunity to work with Dave and Mary Jane to build the addition to the cabin on top of Roxbury Mountain in VT. Dave always had a keen interest in all facets of the building process. I did not know Dave when we started the construction project, but as time went on and I got to know him, I realized what an interesting and very bright man he was. I enjoyed all our construction strategy sessions and our many in-depth conversations on all kinds of subjects. I will always value the time I spent with Dave.

Sending lots of love to you all,
Chris Burfoot, Warren, VT
Posted by Sherry Walker on April 19, 2017
This is for Maryjane, Ben, Tina, and Andrea... I have such fond memories of Maryjane and Dave. We used to go camping together when our husbands were at MIT. My husband and Dave eventually got their PhD's and we moved off to Texas and they moved off to New York. We have kept in touch all these years, not closely in touch, but it really didn't matter. We would just take up where we left off the last time we talked. Dave will be so missed by his family and friends. My heart is breaking.
Posted by Ben Luce on April 19, 2017
From Wendy Carlos:

Thank you, Ben, for sharing thoughts, info about your dad. I keep thinking of Dave, a hero in EAMusic, other sci/tech worlds. This hurts. My intersections with your dear dad were during ’74-'84 (before his breakthroughs in corneal physics/treatment). He was brilliant, open, amusing, f2f or phone, generous with expertise and time. We enjoyed spirited, often deep discussions, some speculating about the future. Certainly will never forget him, and send my empathy to you all.

—Wendy Carlos
Posted by Chuck White on April 18, 2017
Sorry for you and your family's loss. Dave hired me from Chicago in 1981 and I worked at Moog in various capacities until 1985 or 1986 when I went to work for Reichert Ophthalmic. Dave was later hired as VP of Engineering so I worked for him once again. I can't think of a boss for whom I had more respect. He was very supportive, and mentored me and many other engineers with kindness and of course extreme intelligence. I know I owe much of my career success to him.
Posted by Ted Garway-Heath on April 18, 2017
It was with sadness that I learned of your father’s passing. I have very fond memories of working with him and the Reichert team in the early days of the Ocular Response Analyzer.
Your father was what we’d affectionately call in the UK an archetypal ‘boffin’ – someone who spent days and nights inventing things. He was a true scientist who contributed to the well-being of society both through his innovations in eye diagnostic technology and also through his contributions to the world of music. A true Renaissance man! I will remember him as a man with a kindly disposition and a great sense of humour.
I regret that I’ll be unable to join your celebration of his life, being on the other side of the pond, but will think of him and will raise a glass in gratitude for his contributions.

David (Ted) Garway-Heath, Moorfields Eye Hospital
Posted by Aachal Kotecha on April 17, 2017
To the Luce family

I would like to offer my deepest condolences for the passing of David.

I first met David around 2003 when I was doing a post-doctorate at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, undertaking some experiments and validation of his device, the Ocular Response Analyser.

I know how talented and intelligent David was, and he was such a genuinely lovely man - a true gentleman, very kind, very gentle. And so humble, despite all his achievements. I enjoyed speaking with him - he was so approachable, so encouraging and open. He is a loss to the ophthalmology community as well as his family and friends.

I wish you all the strength and support to see this time through. Know that there are many across the globe who are sending their love and good wishes to you all at this difficult time.

With love
Posted by Gabriel Martin on April 16, 2017
Dear Ben,

I have had the honor of working with your father for the last 14 years of my life. We shared and enjoyed endless conversations about corneal biomechanics and other physics topics. Dave was a brilliant person and he had a generosity that is not easy to find out there. Moreover, his contribution to the ophthalmology field has been enormous.

Dave used to talk about you and your sisters with a contagious pride. His passing through life has not been in vain.

Reichert will not be the same without him. The times to come are hard. Not having his valuable opinion will be a disadvantage that will not be easy to overcome.

I'm going to miss him deeply. But I keep in my mind the moments we shared together, and I keep the pride of having met him.

My condolences to Maryjane, Tina, Andrea, and you (his nonlinear boy). And my best wishes for the future of Luce family.
Posted by David Guyton on April 16, 2017
Dave Luce was quite remarkable, and I admired him greatly. Reichert really did provide a great family for him, from everything that I witnessed. I experienced a good deal of that warm camaraderie myself in the decade or two before. I wish that I had had all the more opportunity to work with him.
We shall all miss him. 
/ David Guyton, MD / The Wilmer Eye Institute / Johns Hopkins Univ.
Posted by Jay Pepose on April 16, 2017
It was with great sadness that I learned of Dave's passing. It was a privilege to have gotten to know him and work with him as he introduced the ocular response analyzer to ophthalmology. While Dave's knowledge base was a mile wide, it didn't take long to realize that it was also a mile deep. Yet this brilliant individual was self-deprecating, humble, respectful, and tempered by a great sense of humor. He encouraged dialogue and his science was truth driven and devoid of ego-- he enjoyed having his hypotheses challenged, particularly when the questions led to further research and discovery. I will miss him and that twinkle in his eye when he would greet me, always with a smile. He will be sorely missed. My deepest sympathy to his family at this difficult time.

Leave a Tribute

Recent Tributes
Posted by Andrea Luce on April 15, 2020
Missing you, Dad and grateful for all you taught me. Realizing I am so lucky to have had such a kind and generous father. I mostly miss your zest for life and new ideas and progress. Also your humorous outlook on life, and of course for making me always feel loved and safe.
Posted by Skip Mahler on April 17, 2019
Your foresight and love of synthesis paved the way for countless musicians who may never have had the chance to enjoy the warmth and depth of Moog Synthesizers and polyphony. Godspeed, Dave.
Posted by Joe Zelvin on April 15, 2019
Dave was the finest inspiration as my boss at Reichert. I miss him and think of him often.
Recent stories

On Love

Shared by Tina Fitts on June 2, 2017

I will always think of my father as the most softhearted of our family. It was not always to his advantage, and sometimes got him into trouble, but it was at the core of what made him such a special person.

Oddly two of my clearest memories of my father bookend my brief marriage many years ago.
I will always clearly see him tearing up as he took my hand to walk me down the aisle at my wedding and telling me how proud he was to be my father- not just that day, but every day. 

A few years later, I will also always remember him asking me only one question when I told my parents I needed to get a divorce : "Do you love him?" When I said no, rather than trying to talk me in our out of anything or addressing the dreary practicalities he simply said, "Well that's the right thing then, love's what matters" (It was). It took a huge burden off me, and I was grateful then as now that he had such a heart, and loved us so.

There's a bear! Where?

Shared by Maryjane Luce on April 23, 2017

We took the family on an short overnight campout on the long trail when our children were pre-teens.  Ben had a solo tent, the girls were together in a second tent, and Dave and I shared a third one.  Dave slept in his sleeping bag wearing tee shirt and undershorts.  Unfortunately, other campers before us had left empty tuna cans in the camp fireplace.  During the night we were awakened by lots of rattling and banging of the cans against the stones of the firepit.  Andrea cried out, "There's a bear."  Dave got up, put on his hiking boots, grabbed a walking stick he had used during the previous day, and went out of the tent to see what was going on.  The bear turned into a porcupine, also unwanted in our tent site, so Dave, in his tee shirt and undershorts, proceeded to chase the porcupine several hundred feet through the woods, striking at it with his stick until the walking stick broke, leaving only about six inches of it in his hand.  He then returned to the tent, successfully having driven away the porcy.

How I was born because of Dave (and Maryjane)

Shared by John Aberth on April 18, 2017

I probably wouldn't be here without Dave, and his lovely wife, Maryjane.  You see, it was Dave and Maryjane who set up my mother and father on a blind date.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

Back in the 1950s, my father, Etienne Aberth, met Dave at MIT in Boston, where they played rugby, and studied engineering on the side.  Meanwhile, my mother, Sally Stephens, met Maryjane at Boston University.  For some reason, Dave and Maryjane (who already were dating) thought Etienne and Sally would make a good couple, and they set them up on a blind date.  At first, Cupid was not cooperative, because Etienne and Sally did not hit it off!  But soon, the wisdom of Dave and Maryjane's matchmaking bore its fruit, and a wedding took place on June 27, 1959, in Rochester, N.Y.

Attached is a photo of Dave and Maryjane toasting the happy couple, from my parents' wedding album.  Dave stood out from the crowd by wearing a white suit, the only man at the wedding to do so, as far as I can tell.  This says a lot about Dave, because it was a pretty daring thing to do, especially with all that drinking going on!  And from the picture, it seems that he managed not to spill anything on that white suit!

I'll always be thankful to Dave and Maryjane, for introducing Sally and Etienne to each other, and thus making it possible for me to be born.  From the expression on Dave's face, it's clear that he knew how to have a good time, and he makes you want to step back into the picture frame and see what all the fun was about.  When my father passed away, 26 years ago now, Dave was distraught, and now I am too at Dave's passing.  He was a great friend to my father, and a good friend to me.  He will be missed.  Travel well, Dave.

John Aberth
Roxbury, VT