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Obituaries, Dec. 2001 to March 2002

Obituaries, Dec. 2001 to March 2002


[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.]

Dr. George Atwood III an alumnus, recipient of numerous awards from New Mexico Tech, and longtime supporter of the institute, passed away peacefully at home on Jan. 8, 2002. The youngest of eight children, he was born in Savannah, Ga., on July 21, 1918, to Mary Jane McIntosh Atwood and Jules Epping Atwood. He grew up with a love for the beautiful Georgia coast, but his interest in rocks and minerals drew him west at the age of 17 to the New Mexico School of Mines, where he earned a bachelor's degree in metallurgical engineering in 1939 and a master's degree in the same field in 1945. He completed the advanced management program at Harvard Business School in 1965, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in engineering by New Mexico Tech in 1968.

George began his career in 1939, working in the potash industry in Carlsbad, N.M. In 1950, he joined Duval Corporation, where he served as chief engineer in the design and construction of the Duval Potash Mining and Refining Plant. In 1957, he and his family relocated to Tucson, Ariz. He was named resident manager of Duval Corp. in 1972 and served as chairman of the board and chief executive officer until h is retirement in 1983. He also was a director of Duval's parent company, Pennzoil Corp., for that same period.

A brilliant and creative scientist, George held twelve United States patents and authored numerous publications in the fields of extractive metallurgy and soluble chemistry. A prime achievement was his leadership in developing Duval's CLEAR process, a commercial hydrometallurgical refining process that generated no atmospheric pollution. George played a significant role in the development of several North American ore bodies, including the Sierrita Copper and Molybdenum Complex near Tucson, the Cory Potash operation in Saskatchewan, Canada, and the Battle Mountain Gold Mine in Nevada. He also served as a consultant in the development of the Dead Sea Potash Works in Israel, where a portion of the plant is known today as the Atwood Circuit.

George received many honors for his accomplishments in the field of mining and metallurgy. He was given the Legion of Honor Award in 1994 by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration. He received the Distinguished Achievement Award from New Mexico Tech that same year. In 1993, he was given the Distinguished Service Award by the American Mining Congress. George was the first inductee to the Southwest Mining Hall of Fame in 1983, and that same year received the Ankh Award from the New York City Copper Club as Copper Man of the Year. In 1980, he received the James Douglas medal for distinguished achievement in nonferrous metallurgy from the American Institute for Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers. He received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the University of Arizona Alumni Association in 1971.

A very generous man, George supported numerous community projects and charitable programs throughout his life. One of his most lasting contributions is the Mary Jane McIntosh Atwood Scholarship that he established in 1999 in his mother's name. The scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating high school student from his hometown of Darien, Georgia, where his mother was the first woman to hold the position of County School Superintendent.

George was devoted to his family and found great joy in large family gatherings. He met Judy Ann Brown in Socorro, and they married I n 1938. They made their home in Carlsbad until Judy's untimely death in 1953. George married Mildred Wright Kayser in 1954, embarking on a marriage that was to last almost 40 years. Mildred died in 1993 in Tucson. In 1994, George married Margery P. Greene, of Darien, Ga., whom he had known since childhood. Margery died in 1997. George is survived by five children (their spouses names are in parentheses): daughters Mary Ellen Purdy (John), Elizabeth Kayser, and Barbara Atwood (Peter Eisner), all of Tucson; and sons George Atwood IV (Elizabeth) of New Jersey; and Thomas Atwood (Linda) of Connecticut.

George had seven surviving grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His close friend and secretary, Nancy Lunch, whose devoted assistance added comfort to the last years of his life, also survives George.

Gifts in the memory of George Atwood may be made to the Student Scholarship Fund of New Mexico Tech, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro 87801.

Cristopher Wade Carson
, age 26, died of cancer on Dec. 18, 2001. He was the son of Charlie Carson, Jr. and the late Carolyn Warder Carson. He is survived by one sister, Cyndi Ann Carson, one half-sister, Kassandra Carson, stepmother Cynthis Barcht Carson; and grandparents, aunts, and uncles. He also leaves behind Jessica Trujillo of Santa Fe. He is preceded in death by one sister, Crista Lunn Carson, in 1994. Cris spent six years in Stuttgart, Germany, returning to Albuquerque to graduate from Manzano High School, where he was a member of the track team. He graduated from New Mexico Tech in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering. He worked in that field at Los Alamos National Labs. Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to The Hospice Memorial Foundation, 4725 Indian School Rd., NE, Albuquerque, N.M., 87110.

Chris's professor, Dr. Clint Richardson, recalled, "Chris Carson was a good all-around student to have in our program. He was a member of my 1999 winning WERC design contest team. I worked closely with him on modeling our process for the contest. I am saddened to hear about his death."

Frederick W. Foell
, age 89, passed away on Nov. 14, 2001, in Lubbock, Tex. Foell was born on June 11, 1912, in the village of Northeast, Penn. He graduated from Westfield Academy, a high school in Westfield, New York, in 1930, and graduated from New Mexico School of Mines in 1935.

Following his graduation from college, he joined Stanolind Oil and Gas Company, now B.P. Amoco, as a petroleum engineer working in Hobbs, N.M. He worked for the company at various locations in New Mexico, Texas, and Wyoming, retiring from the office in Salt Creek, Wyo.

He married Berniece Douglas on Oct. 4, 1947, in Abernathy, Tex. They moved from Casper, Wyo., to Lubbock in 1972. He attended First Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife and by two daughters, Sherron Hadlock of Cottonwood, Ariz., and Carolyn Hack of Lubbock. He is also survived by a sister, Virginia Lillie, of Westfield, New York, and three grandchildren.

Dr. George B. Griswold, aged 73, alumnus and professor emeritus at New Mexico Tech, passed away on March 26, 2002, in Las Cruces.

Griswold was born on Dec. 9, 1928, in Ponca City, Okla., to Edward H. and Naomi Jane Bullard Griswold. His father was a petroleum engineer, and the family moved to New York and then Texas, where Griswold received his early education. Griswold served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953, starting as platoon leader and moving up to the battalion staff.

Griswold attended the New Mexico School of Mines, earning his bachelor's degree in mining engineering in 1955, with the school's highest honor, the Brown Medal. He then went on to the University of Arizona, where he received his master's degree in 1957. In 1967, he earned his Ph.D. in geological engineering at the same institution, the first Ph.D. the university granted in that field.

Griswold worked in a variety of mining camps during his early career: Tepehuanes, Mexico; Fairbanks, Ala.; Leadville, Colo.; Superior and San Manuel, Ariz.; and Bishop, Calif. In 1957, he joined the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources as an associate mining engineer. After receiving his doctorate, he became a faculty member, serving as Mining Department Chairman until 1970 when he returned to industry. He first consulted for Minera Azteca in Mexico, then joined Getty Oil Co. in Los Angeles. The company soon transferred him to Canada as vice president and manager of Mineral Exploration for western Canada and Alaska. Getty terminated Canadian mineral exploration in 1974.

Griswold returned to New Mexico and joined Sandia National Laboratories. He pursued energy research in coal and oil shale. He was then assigned to work under Dr. Wendell Weart, participating in the site selection for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad. He left Sandia in 1978 to form his own consulting firm known as the Tecolote Corp. He and his associates conducted studies for Sandia, DOE, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and numerous mining companies.

He completed his professional career by returning to New Mexico Tech in 1984. He served as Chairman of the Mining, Geological and Environmental Engineering Department until his retirement in 1988. He was both a Distinguished and Legion of Honor Member of the Society of Mining Engineers.

His loving wife Carol Ann Griswold survives him. He has seven children: Cynthia, Pat, Jim and Robert from his first marriage and Pete, Matt, and Kady, whom he "inherited" from his second marriage. There are nine grandchildren.

It was his directive that no memorial or similar service be held.

Earl Conrad Herkenhoff, a 1936 alumnus of the New Mexico School of Mines and the last surviving son of Lillian Herkenhoff, longtime house mother for School of Mines students, passed away on Thursday, March 14, 2002, at ManorCare Health Services, Reno, Nev.

(Also see Earl Herkenhoff, An Appreciation)

Earl was born on October 1, 1915, in Socorro, and his family lived for many years in a basement apartment in Old Driscoll Hall, a student residence on the School of Mines campus. At his request, his ashes were scattered on M Mountain.

In addition to his B.S. in mining engineering from New Mexico School of Mines, Earl held an M.S. from Idaho School of Mines. He was a registered Professional Engineer and a distinguished member of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from New Mexico Tech in 1990, held 15 patents and wrote numerous professional papers.

His mining engineering responsibilities took him throughout the United States and Canada, and overseas to Australia, Africa, Peru, and Chile where he provided mining and metallurgical consulting services to the U.S. State Department, Trade and Development Program, Kaiser Aluminum, Phillips Uranium, Southern Peru Copper and Marcona Mining Company.

Earl had been a resident of Reno, Nev., for the past 17 years.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Rose, his brothers Gordon and Walter, both also School of Mines alumni, and their sister, Harriet. Earl is survived by his two daughters, Sandra Pursell and Linda Herkenhoff of Menlo Park, Calif.; and his two sons, Fred of Orinda, Calif.; and Stuart of Globe, Arizona.

No flowers or memorials are requested and his family may be contacted through his son, Fred at the family home in Orinda, California.

Bruce F. Lake passed away on Feb. 7, 2002. He was a 1940 petroleum engineering graduate of New Mexico School of Mines and was retired from Lockheed Corp. He was predeceased by his first wife Ellen (nee von Eyser) and his second wife Irene (nee Adam). He is survived by his daughter, Ellen Kennedy, and devoted friend, Elizabeth M. Melville. He had five grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the National Parks Conservation Association, P.O. Box 97202, Washington, D.C. 20079.

Mohamad Taghi (Jack) Razaghnia
passed away on Nov. 22, 2001, at the age of 68. Jack was a 1958 graduate of the School of Mines with a degree in geophysics. He was born in Tehran, Iran on June 7, 1933 and was living in Merano, Italy at the time of his death.

Jack's children Bahran, Shahram, Rebecca, and Patsy wrote of him, "Our father passed away in November after a long battle with multiple myeloma. He was a great man who touched many people. He was kind and generous. He was bright and funny. He had the great gift of being able to communicate with people from all walks of life. We miss him but have wonderful memories. Jack Razaghnia will continue to live in our hearts and souls."

John E. 'Pat' Ryan passed away on Feb. 26, 2001, at the Anchorage Pioneers' Home. He was a 1940 graduate of New Mexico School of Mines.

The Anchorage Daily News called Ryan "a quiet and decent gentleman miner of the old school," and noted that his passing closed yet another life from Alaska's golden age. Along with his many engineering achievements, he also helped fight Alaska's battle for statehood.

Ryan was the widower of Irene Ryan, New Mexico Tech's first female graduate. Irene was a pilot who flew open-cockpit airplanes in the 1930s, was a legislator in the 1950s, a commissioner in the Cabinet of former Gov. William A. Egan in the 1960s, and was honored as Alaskan of the Year in 1986. Together, Irene and Pat worked together constantly to make Alaska a better place.

Pat Ryan was born on Dec. 21, 1913, in Albany, N.Y. In 1932, he graduated from high school in California and in 1940 received a bachelor's degree in geological engineering from the New Mexico School of Mines. In 1938, he and Irene Esther Irvine were married. In 1941, they moved to Anchorage.

While in high school, Pat built and flew a 45-foot wing span soaring glider. From 1932 to 1935, he prospected for placer gold by pack train in Mexico. While atending college, he worked as an underground miner in the Rocky Mountain states.

Upon arrival in Anchorage, he joined Bechtel Corp., constructing the coal burning power plant at old Fort Richardson. He worked for more than 30 years in power plant operation for the U.S. Army, retiring as superintendent of the new Fort Richardson central heat and power plant. He then spent seven years placer gold mining in the Circle District.

During the 1950s, the Ryans developed residential and commercial subdivisions in the Anchorage area. From 1957-65, they were involved in oil and gas leasing. They organized Oil Well Supply and Service Co. in 1958. Pat prospected in Alaska, Yukon Territory, and West Africa. From 1944-48, he taught mining extension courses for the University of Alaska and helped organize the Alaska Prospector's Society.

After the 1964 earthquake, Ryan and his friend, John Van Ort, received the Army Meritorious Civilian Service Award for rescuing two children from a burning home.

Ryan formerly served on the board of directors of the Chugach Electric Association. He was a member of the Alaska Miners Association, Petroleum Club of Anchorage, Chugach Range Riders, Commonwealth North, Operation Statehood, Holy Cross Parish, and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.

Pat Ryan is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Marcella and Partrick Sharrock of Anchorage and Patricia and Robert Clasby of Juneau; five grandchildren and their spouses; five great-grandchildren; and other relatives.

Glenn Allen Zaske, age 35, passed away on Friday, Nov. 23, 2001 at his home in Socorro, NM. He was born on August 17, 1966 to Merlin and Carrie (McAllister) Zaske in Fontana, CA. He was baptized at the United Methodist Church in Upland, CA. He graduated from The Webb School in Claremont, CA in 1984 and from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in 1988. He enjoyed puzzles, games, playing the guitar, interaction with his friends in Socorro and playing chess and boggle through the mail with his older sister. He held various jobs throughout his adult life and loved helping others and his adopted town of Socorro. He is a beloved son, brother, nephew and friend and he will be missed. He is preceded in death by his mother and his grandparents. He is survived by his father Merlin and step-mother, Eileen Plante of Upland, CA; sisters: Theresa Zaske of Balaton, MN and Julie Zaske of Everett, WA; two nephews: Christopher and Kyle; several aunts, uncles and cousins and other relatives and friends who cared for him.

The Alumni Office received news of the passing of Muhammed Afzal Chaudry on Dec. 28, 2000. He resided in Magdalena. No further information was available.

We also received notice of the passing of James Donald Clark, a 1947 graduate in petroleum engineering. No further information was available.