Your Dad sounds like a wonderful person. He sounds like a role model for me. I have a BSc in Physics and Astronomy, but your Dad was right in the thick of it. Working on Physics and Anti-War issues sounds like the best things a person could ever do, to me. I used to say that "A Physicist is a Philosopher who gets his hands dirty." Anyone who is Serious does have to be really good with Tools. It sounds like your Dad was exactly how I like people to be and who I try to emulate.
Your Mom and Dad's lives sound wonderful.... All of us have our parents get older and older, and we are close behind! ....
It was very lucky to have had such capable and active parents, and very few people have been that lucky. We were born at the right time, to be into Physics and to be able to make a stand for Peace; and most people in the world didn't get to have such solid hard-working, brilliant parents....
Once a person gets hooked on Physics, your life is pretty much Physics. A "Real" Physics person has to be Really Good with all equipment. There is no place for theoretical flights of fancy... People of that calibre develop a deep awareness of many things.
After a while, you develop a Conscience and a feeling of responsibility... People of that quality generally go into Anti-War for one thing, and they try to use their understanding to give gentle advice to other people who were not so lucky. It is a rare and precious gift, to develop a deep understanding of natural processes in the world and beyond. So it is like your Dad won the Lottery. People cannot help but feel grateful and try to Help other people, with this deep insight that very few people have. It seems miraculous to have a deep understanding of things, which very few people do. Like having wings. A big advantage.
I think your Dad and I would have been really good chums!
I worked about 10 years for "Applied Physics Specialties," which was the LeftOver "Applied Physics" government agency, and they used to make bombsights and periscopes and all sorts of optical equipment during WWII.
Your Dad and I would have had a Great time talking about Cosmology....
(Read Roy's on cosmology, ie., that the Big Bang theory is based on an optical illusion.)
Basically, I LOVE his concept of the universe's apparent expansion as an Optical Illusion, and I myself have used the exact phrase and the exact concept many times in thought and conversation, for many years. But I wouldn't go as far as to say that I think that it is the case. When you Want something, you usually can't have it, in Physics. We would have had a Great Conversation! We would both be trying to Refine that concept, of how we can keep the universe Non-Expanding. We would need to reveal why it looks like it is expanding, in detail.
I did get to meet and/or went to seminars by old RADAR people, and I studied RADAR specifically in College, after university. There used to be a group of RADAR people, who were in it from the beginning, and the Stories are fantastic.
I talked to some of these people like your Dad. It is like the most Úlite club in history, gaining a deep-enough knowledge to understand the universe.
I knew an optical scientist named Harvey Richardson and he reminds me of your Dad with the Cosmology and optics. He was well-known in the optical field, and he also did not like the idea of the universe expanding, and I conceded to him that it could be an optical illusion of some sort. He designed big telescopes, in our Canadian efforts here, the last few decades. We all love the optical illusion concept, but we do need a more-detailed explanation of the illusion.
As we all get older, we have a warm glow of knowing that these people have been in the world.