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Obituaries, July 2004 to Feb. 2005

Obituaries, July 2004 to Feb. 2005


[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.]

William "Bill" L. Bass, 67, of Willard, NM, passed away on July 20, 2004. He held a master of science teaching degree from New Mexico Tech, earned in 1993.

Bass was born in Estancia, N.M., on April 17, 1937 to Bill and Vera Bass. He graduated from Estancia High School and received his bachelor's degree from UNM. He served in the Air Force and went on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

He then began a career teaching junior and senior high school math and science, which took him to many New Mexico and Arizona communities.

He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Dorothy Bass and many children and grandchildren. Dr. Curtis Barefoot

Dr. Curtis A. Barefoot, professor of mathematics and previous chair of the department, passed away on July 23, 2004, at the age of 53, after a courageous battle with lymphoma.

Please see Dr. Curtis A. Barefoot, 1951-2004.

Gregory Lee Friberg passed away on December 2, 2004 at his home in Socorro, N.M. He was born on October 3, 1953, in Socorro to the late Martin S. and Dorothy (Schooley) Friberg.

He graduated third in the Class of 1971 at Socorro High School, where he took great pride in being kicked out of the National Honor Society for his role in publishing an underground student newspaper.

Greg graduated from New Mexico Tech in 1975, with bachelor's degrees in mathematics and computer science and with highest honors; he returned to Tech to complete his master's in CS in 1981. While working as a teaching assistant at Tech, Greg met Mary Garcia, formerly of Socorro, whom he married in 1981.

But the great love of his life was his daughter, Sara Friberg, born in 1987. As a young father, Greg shared with his daughter a love for stories and books. Later, they journeyed to places like New Orleans, Mexico, and Disneyland. Greg was particularly proud that Sara chose to attend New Mexico Tech, making her the third generation of Fribergs associated with the school (his father was an emeritus professor of math).

Greg was a multi-talented man who held at a variety of jobs, from working for a defense subcontractor at White Sands Missile Range to being a bartender and carpenter, to running a business restoring classic cars in Las Cruces. He also took care of his father, Martin Friberg, professor emeritus of mathematics at Tech, during the last years of Martin's life. Martin passed away in Socorro in December 2003.

Friends remembered Greg as an outlaw and adventurer who lived life his own way. His sense of other-worldliness found expression in his favorite science fiction story, a Star Trek episode called City on the Edge of Forever.

In addition to his daughter and former wife, Greg is survived by three adopted dogs: Bessie Ruth, Gus, and Princess. Other survivors include two brothers, Stephen Friberg of Mountain View, Calif., and his wife, Sodeyo, and Clint (Barry) Friberg of northern Washington; two nephews, Eric Friberg and Daniel Friberg; a niece, Marìé Friberg; and a number of good friends, among them Valerie Kimble of Socorro.

Greg's cremains were placed in a simple metal tool box, along with a Raymond Chandler book, and interred next to his parents in the Socorro Cemetery. Memorial donations in Greg's name can made to the Animal Protective Association of Socorro c/o Dorothy Brook. Dr. Charles and Dorothy Holmes

Dr. Charles Holmes
, professor emeritus of physics and onetime Acting President of New Mexico Tech passed away on Aug. 19, 2004, at his home in Socorro. See Holmes obituary.

Dr. Albert Petschek
, professor emeritus of physics, Fellow of Los Alamos National Laboratory, husband, father, grandfather, died at home Thursday morning July 8, 2004, at the age of 76. He enjoyed good health and his death was unexpected.

Albert had a lifelong love of the outdoors. He was an avid hiker, mushroom gatherer, cross-country skier, gardener and bicyclist. He was a local fixture commuting by bicycle from his home in La Senda up Pajarito Road to the laboratory - resorting to a car only when the snow was too deep or the rain too torrential.

Albert believed his most noteworthy accomplishment was his committed and devoted marriage to Marilyn and the raising of their four children. Before it became the social norm, he was actively involved in the day-to-day raising of his children. Albert maintained his commitment to family throughout his life, planning vacations for the family so they could spend time enjoying each other's company while exploring a new corner of the country or world.

Albert was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1928 and immigrated to the United States in 1938. He earned his bachelor's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his master's degree from the University of Michigan, and his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester.

He joined the staff of Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1953, and the faculty of New Mexico Tech in 1966. He retired from LANL in 1987 and from NMT in 1994. He consulted at the lab until his death. His broad-ranging analytic powers and curiosity were respected by many professionals.

His distinguished career spanned five decades of educating physicists and publishing scientific contributions to nuclear physics, astrophysics, atmospheric physics, quantum mechanics and quantum computing.

Albert is survived by his wife of 55 years, Marilyn; his brother Harry of Lexington, Mass.; and his children, their spouses and his grandchildren, Evelyn of Washington. D.C.; Rolfe, Jane and Iris of Shaker Heights, Ohio; Elaine and Leonardo Valdes of Hartsdale, N.Y.; and Mark, Paula, Michael and Colin of Bedford, Mass.

Contributions may be made to either the charity of your choice, the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, or to the New Mexico Tech Foundation.

Donald Richter, age 78, passed away on Oct. 8, 2004, at his home in Anchorage, Alaska, of a malignant brain tumor. He was a proud member of the Class of 1950 and steered numerous students to his alma mater.

Born on Sept. 29, 1926, in Huntington, N.Y., he graduated from high school in Stamford, Conn., in 1943. He joined the U.S. Navy Construction Battalion in 1945 and was honorably discharged in 1946. On May 15, 1947, he married Marion Agnes Comfort.

After graduating from New Mexico School of Mines, Richter received his master's degree in mineralogy from Queen's University in Ontario in 1952. From 1952 to 2004, he worked primarily for the U.S. Geological Survey in Washington, D.C., Cuba, Colorado, Hawaii, Alaska, Arizona, and New Mexico.

His 41-year Alaska residency began in 1963 with the Alaska Department of Mines and Minerals. In 1967, he rejoined the U.S. Geological Survey and continued geologic mapping in the Wrangell Mountains.

"Don loved the out-of-doors and was especially at home in the mountains," his family recalled. "His thirst for learning about the natural world was unquenchable and he loved to share that knowledge. Don and his wife established a center for learning at Trail End Ranch in New Mexico for teaching youths the natural history of the area. He will be missed on the trails and peaks of Alaska and New Mexico."

He is survived by his wife Marion, three children, and numerous grandchildren.

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