In his years as director of the Brussels Observatory Houzeau
carried out a re-organisation of the institution, and continued to write prolifically on a wide variety of subjects, not only
astronomy, but also general scientific topics, philosophy and the classics. Before he retired in 1883 he headed an expedition
to South America in 1882 to observe a transit of Venus. Sometime in 1882 or 1883 he spent a few months rest in Jamaica with
his sister; they rented a cottage at No. 24 Rae Street, in Rae Town, then a pleasant residential area near Kingston Harbour.
By this time he was in his early sixties and his health had deteriorated. He spent some time in the south of France, but in
1886 he returned to Brussels, where he died on July 12, 1888. During his retirement he spent his time completing his 'Bibliographie
Astronomique', which he had worked on in his spare time for some forty years.
MARKER IN TEXAS
J. L. Pietersz, whose paper on Houzeau was presented to
the Kingston Athenaeum early in 1915, and printed in the Jamaica Times on March 6, 1915, wrote of him:
recollection of him on his return to the Island, is that of a brave looking man of medium height, with a full iron-grey beard.
From one who knew him I learnt that though reserved in manner he was a firm and constant friend, most kind to those who assisted
him in his work and charitable to his poorer neighbors.'
The famous astronomer, Camille Flammarion
said of him, 'Houzeau was a laborious student, an independent man, a noble heart and a grand character. He always placed the
love of science and truth above personal interest and the vain ambitions to which many students sacrifice their lives. His
name will remain nobly associated with the history of contemporary astronomy of which he was one of the most genuine representatives.'