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Obituaries, Oct. 2002 to March 2003

Obituaries, Oct. 2002 to March 2003


[Note: in cases where donations may be made to New Mexico Tech, the address is: Advancement Office, New Mexico Tech, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM 87801.]

Ray W. Ballmer
, age 76, passed away on Dec. 15, 2002, in Tucson. He was a prominent mining engineer and member of a longtime School of Mines family.

Ray was born on May 6, 1926 in Santa Rita, N.M. to Gerald and Marta Ballmer. Gerald was a 1925 graduate of the School of Mines. Ray served in the Navy in World War II. He then attended NMSM, where he earned the Brown Medal for 1949 as the year's most outstanding graduate. His bachelor's degree was in mining engineering. In 1960, Ray earned a master's degree in industrial management from MIT.

Ray rose through the mining industry to various executive positions. From 1949 to 1969, he worked for Kennecott Copper Corp. in Arizona and Utah; then became manager and director of Bougainville Copper Ltd. in Papua, New Guinea from 1969 to 1975. He was executive vice president of Amoco Minerals Co. from 1975 to 1982; president and CEO of Rio Algom Ltd., Canada, from 1982 to 1988; and vice chairman and CEO of Rio Algom Ltd. until he retired in 1991.

In 1989, New Mexico Tech presented Ray Ballmer with its Distinguished Achievement Award. He received a number of other awards, including the Daniel C. Jackling award from the Society of Mining Engineers in 1981 and a Sloan Fellowship from MIT in 1959. He was a longtime member of the New Mexico Tech President's Club.

Ballmer's longtime friend, Bill Macey, recalled him as "an avid golfer who played three or four times a week. He was in marvelous physical condition until his final illness. Ray was a brilliant man who could fix anything mechanical or electrical. He was a wonderful representative of our school."

Ballmer is survived by his wife, Doris; daughter, Gerri McDonald; and son, Jim Ballmer, as well as six grandchildren.

Elizabeth Ewing Imperato, age 54, died on Nov. 16, 2002, from cancer. She was a resident of Medford, N.J. Born in Santa Fe, Elizabeth graduated from New Mexico Tech in 1970 with a bachelor's degree in biology. That same year, she married fellow Tech student Eugene Imperato (70, BS, metallurgical engr.; 70, BS, ceramics engineering).

The Imperatos resided in Willingboro, N.J. for 22 years before moving to Medford in 1997. Gene, who earned his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University, works as a metallurgist. Elizabeth was, among other things, a substitute teacher with the Moorestown and Delran Public School systems, and an EMT for Mount Misery Camp. She also volunteered with the Red Cross and was a Girl Scout and Boy Scout Leader.

Recently, Elizabeth returned to college, working on a master's degree in pastoral counseling at La Salle University. She continued to work hard on her degree, even after her illness struck. The chairman of LaSalle's graduate department of religion arranged a special graduation ceremony on Sept. 14, awarding Elizabeth her master's degree, with her husband, children, grandchildren, sister, brothers, faculty, and friends in attendance.

Dr. Ross Lomanitz
passed away on Jan. 1, 2003. Please see Dr. Ross Lomanitz, 1921-2003.

Richard McAlexander, age 74, passed away on Aug. 6, 2002 at Socorro General Hospital. He was born on May 8, 1928, to Gerald E. and Vivian P. (Lombard) McAlexander in Holly, Colo. He served as a corporal in the United States Army. He attended Lamar Junior College in Colorado, where he was a member of the Lamar Fire Department. He then attended Western State College in Gunnison, Colo. Richard worked as a firefighter in Socorro and attended New Mexico School of Mines, where he received his bachelor's degree in geology in 1955.

Richard worked as a state geologist in Santa Fe and worked for the New Mexico State Highway Department as assistant project engineer. Richard was a mining engineer who worked in uranium mines in Grants, N.M., and Moab, Utah. For 23 years, he was a federal mine inspector with the Mine Safety Administration in Reno.

Richard, best known to family and friends as "Mac," enjoyed science history, working with iron, old tractors, steam-driven locomotives, Celtic music, John Wayne movies, and the faithful companionship of his cat, Quigley McCordendinkle, and dog, Cagney. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Christina (Pino) McAlexander and his daughter, Vivian McAlexander.

David N. Stone, age 53, of Santa Fe, died on Oct. 21, 2002. He was a 1970 graduate of New Mexico Tech, with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. David was a 25-year employee of the New Mexico State Engineer Department. He was the assistant softball coach under Melvin Perez for the Santa Fe High School Demonettes. He loved golf, bowling, baseball, and many other sports. David was a loving brother and faithful friend who will be missed by all. He is survived by his brothers Donald, Robert, and Joe Stone, and many other close relatives and friends.

Robert D. Updyke, Class of 1930, passed away on Oct. 1, 2002, at the age of 96. He was retired from ARCO, where he had been a petroleum engineer. No further information was available.

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