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Obituaries, March to June 2003

Obituaries, March to June 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.]

Raymond D. Gumb, a computer science professor at New Mexico Tech from 1984-86, passed away on Nov. 20, 2002. He was born in Atlanta, Ga., on Oct. 20, 1938 and earned his bachelor.s degree at M.I.T., a master.s from Emory University, and a Ph.D. from Lehigh University.

He then began his teaching and research career with positions at TRW, M.I.T., and Raytheon. He subsequently taught at Georgia Tech, Lafayette College, Temple University, California State University at Northridge, New Mexico Tech, and finally the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. His books included Rule-Governed Linguistic Behavior (1972), Evolving Theories (1979), Programming Logics (1989), and Essays in Semantics and Epistemology (1983).

His first wife, Mary Ann (Spriegal) Gumb, passed away on Sept. 16, 2000. He married Albis Balza-Gumb, who survives him, on Aug. 14, 2002. He is also survived by three sons, Christopher W., Robert D., and Lawrence F. Gumb.

A complete obituary is available at http://www.mv.com/users/rogerl/obit_ray_gumb.jpg

Gerald Schmitt, a 1978 graduate of New Mexico Tech with a bachelor's degree in basic sciences, passed away on May 23, 2003.

Jerry worked for Los Alamos National Laboratory for 22 years and had planned to retire in June. He and his wife planned to go to Alaska, a place that had captured his imagination for many years. An outgoing man with a great sense of humor and a passion for learning new things, he had excelled over the years in a vast array of interests and activities. He was a pilot, an outdoorsman, an amateur radio enthusiast (KK5YY), a rescue SCUBA diver, a ski patroller, a photographer, equestrian/farrier, motorcyclist, car restorer, marksman, computer whiz, to name only a few. But most importantly, he was a perpetual Good Samaritan, a stranger to no one, and an adventurer extraordinaire.

Dr. Carl Popp, professor emeritus of chemistry, recalled, "Gerry was an avid outdoorsman when he was a student at Tech and often rode his horse to campus to attend class. One day he tied up the horse outside Cramer Hall where there were some posts with rings that may have been used for that purpose long ago. When he got out of class, there was a parking ticket attached to the saddle. Tom Vivian of Campus Police had ticketed him for illegal parking. Probably the only horse parking ticket in the school's history! I don't know if the ticket ever got paid."

He is survived by his wife, Barbara of Los Alamos; his daughter, Cindy and her husband David Bardwil of New Jersey; his daughter, Lynette and her husband Ivan Busch of Arizona; his daughter, Rowena Macdonald of Arizona; his sister, Susan Reynolds of Florida; five grandchildren and another on the way, two nieces and a nephew, several close-knit cousins and other relatives.

Dr. Robert E. Taylor, age 75, a former regent of New Mexico Tech, passed away Wednesday May 28, 2003 at Gila Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Taylor was born September 30, 1927 in Grants Pass, Oregon to Harold Taylor and Edith Grace Taylor. He received his B.S. cum laude from the University of Arizona in 1952. He was named Paul Steer Burgess Fellow and received his M.S. in 1953. He served as State Supervisor of Agricultural Education and State Advisor to the Future Farmers of America in the Arizona Department of Education until 1959 when he began work on his doctorate at The Ohio State University, which he completed in 1961, and was subsequently named to the faculty as an Associate Professor. He advanced to full Professor three years later.

Dr. Taylor was an internationally recognized scholar and leader in the field of workforce preparation. He founded and served as Executive Director of the National Center for Research in Vocational Education at The Ohio State University from 1965 until he elected early retirement in 1986 to establish a consulting firm with his wife, Dr. Barbara Kline Taylor in Silver City. During his 25-year tenure at Ohio State University, he held professorial appointments in the Colleges of Education and Agriculture, and served as Associate Dean of both colleges from 1974 until his leaving the University in 1986.

Taylor served as a consultant to a wide variety of groups-educational and business organizations, including state boards and departments of education, universities, research and development agencies and institutions, community colleges, local school districts, private career schools and colleges. He chaired the Council for Educational Research and Development, the organization of national research centers and regional educational laboratories, and was a member of the organizing Board of Directors of the Career College Association. Additionally he has worked with ministries of education and labor in 26 countries to improve education, research and development and programming. He has been a visiting scholar, professor or guest lecturer at 51 universities in the United States and abroad.

Mr. Taylor received a number of awards and recognitions throughout his career. Upon his retirement, the Ohio State University Board of Trustees established the Robert F. Taylor Graduate Fellowship in Vocational-technical Education. The University of Arizona gave him its Alumni Achievement Award at Commencement in December 1987. In 1997, the Association for Career and Technical Education bestowed upon him its highest award, the prestigious Carl Perkins Humanitarian Award. That same year, the National Association of State Directors of Vocational-technical Education conferred its Distinguished Service Award; previously he had been made an honorary life member of the Association.

Since Taylor's re-location to New Mexico in 1986, the Governor appointed him to a four-year term as a member of the Commission on Higher Education in 1987. In 1998 Governor Gary Johnson appointed him to a five-year term as a University Regent at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, one of the West’s premier research universities. It is nationally and internationally recognized for its science and engineering programs.

Mr. Taylor was an active member of Rotary, having served as president. He was the recipient of the designation, Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary’s highest award. Most recently he became a member of the Western New Mexico University Foundation and was chairing its annual fund raising committee.

His wife Barbara of the home, a sister Margaret Baird and her husband Robert of Payson, Arizona and five nieces and nephews survive him.

Dr. David A. Torres, New Mexico Tech's Director of Affirmative Action, passed away on April 2, 2003 in a Salt Lake City hospital after a short illness. He was born November 29, 1950 in Salt Lake City. He attended Salt Lake City schools and graduated from East High School in 1969.

He graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1973. While there, he was a founding member of an organization that promoted the rights of minority students and he lobbied the state legislature for funding. He met his wife, Melonia Sargent, at the U and they were married May 11, 1973.

He started his career as a pharmaceutical representative in Tucson, Arizona but he hated waiting to see doctors and he missed the mountains so they returned to Salt Lake City where he embarked on a career in Equal Employment Opportunity. Jake Garn, now a former U. S. Senator, hired him to be the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer for the City of Salt Lake. In advancing his career, he moved to Wisconsin. He was the Affirmative Action Officer for the State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. He enjoyed academics and had an opportunity to return to his native state where he was employed at Weber State College (now University) as the Director of Affirmative Action. Later, duties were added and he was also Associate Director of Business Services. He continued to pursue higher education and received his masters in public administration at Utah State University while working full-time.

His goal was to receive a doctorate from a university in another state. Education and learning were important to him. He accepted a position at the University of Nevada, Reno as the Director of Affirmative Action. He received his doctorate in 1992 in Educational Leadership - Higher Education Administration and was made a member of Phi Kappa Phi National Honorary Society. He continued to pursue his career goals by being employed at Iowa State and Mississippi State Universities as Director of Affirmative Action. The South was a long way from his daughters and the grandchildren that had started to arrive so they moved back west to Socorro, New Mexico where he was the Director of Affirmative Action at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

He has been an adjunct professor in management, education, and political science at Weber State University, University of Nevada, Reno, Iowa State University, Mississippi State University, and New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

Community, public service, and church activities were important to him. Some of these activities were that he was an International Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Fellow to Chile. He served on athletic boards and committees at various universities. He was a board member, vice president, and president of the Sierra Nevada Council of Girl Scouts of America, as well as a board member of the Prairie Council (Tupelo, MS) Girl Scouts of America. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club and a board member of New Mexico First. He served on advisory committees for various organizations. He was a Boy Scout leader. He did presentations on various topics associated with his profession. He served as Young Men's President and Ward Clerk for his church.

He loved hunting, fishing, and painting. He enjoyed spending time with his family.

He is survived by his wife, Melonia, and son, David S. (Lemitar, NM); daughters: Amy (Brice) Cocanour; Nicole (Spencer) Andrus; and Elizabeth Torres (all of Reno, NV); five grandchildren.

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