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Obituaries, Dec. 1997 - July 1998

Obituaries, Dec. 1997 - July 1998


Robert F. Benda (40, BS, mining engr.) passed away on March 2, 1998. The last issue of Gold Pan contained his reminiscence on marrying Blanche Downen Benda in New Mexico in 1939.

Daniel S. Briggs, age 34, was killed in a skydiving accident on July 4, 1998, near Chicago. Dan received his master's in physics in 1990 and Ph.D. in physics in 1995. He had gotten his bachelor's degrees at Caltech. See Dan's obit.

Frank "Casey" Davis
(see related article)

Robert L. Ellingsen
, 70, passed away in a hospital in Las Vegas, Nev., on July 21, 1996. He was born on Feb. 3, 1926 in St. Paul, Minn. He graduated in 1950 from the New Mexico School of Mines with a B. S. in mining engineering. Robert developed mines in Mexico, Venezuela, Australia, Alaska, and Idaho. He is survived by his wife Dorothy (who lives in Boise, ID), daughter Karen, and son Mark.

John Timothy Franklin, 46, passed away on April 23, 1998. He graduated in 1975 with a BS in computer science. Tim was a founder of the Tech Rugby Club, the Pygmies, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1997. He was a Tech scholar who also worked part time doing programming for the Registrar's Office. Tim is survived by his mother, Mary Elena Franklin, who lives in Albuquerque, and by his sister and five brothers.

Bertrand P. Gramont (87, MS, geology) died in a car accident on January 2, 1998. At the time, he was working in New Caledonia as a geologist in the nickel mines of the Group Societe Mines Sud Pacificique/Numea. He is survived by his parents, who live in France.

Bertrand's friend Eliot Boyle offered this reminiscence about him.

Dr. Clifford Keizer, professor emeritus of chemistry, passed away at his home in Socorro on Wednesday, January 21, 1998.

He was born on March 19, 1918 near Forest Grove, Michigan to Gerrit C. and Nettie Ter Haar Keizer. He attended Hope College and the University of Illinois where in 1943 he earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry. He was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Lambda Upsilon, Phi Kappa Phi, and Sigma Xi. He was also a member of the Zeta chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma.

Keizer worked at the Central Research Laboratories of the Monsanto Chemical Company in Dayton, Ohio. In 1946 he became assistant professor of chemistry at Western Reserve University. In 1948, he became professor of chemistry and chairman of the natural science division of Central College in Pella, Iowa.

From 1957 to 1962, he was professor of physical chemistry at the Bandung Institute of Technology in Bandung, Indonesia with the Kentucky Contract Team under the International Cooperation Administration. From 1962 to 1964, he taught at Lindenwood College in St. Charles, Missouri.

From 1964 until his retirement in 1984, he taught at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, serving as chairman of the chemistry department for six years and serving as acting academic dean on three occasions. Clifford and his wife Ruth had established a scholarship fund to assist students majoring in chemistry or pursuing a science teaching career.

Keizer was a member of the American Chemical Society for more than fifty years and served as chairman of the Central New Mexico Section. In 1982, he was awarded the John Dustin Clark Medal.

Keizer was an active member of the Socorro Presbyterian Church where he served as an elder. He was also active in the Senior Citizens' Club of Socorro and the Educational Retirees' Association and had served as president of both.

He was preceded in death by his brother Gregg in 1975 and by his son Richard Paul in 1977. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Ruth; his daughter Linda McNatt of Albuquerque and her two children: Destry (stationed in Tucson with the USAF and Kimberly of Albuquerque; his sisters, Gladys Keizer and her companion Bob Richie of Henderson Nev.; and Bernice Fowler and her husband Joe of Walden, N.Y.; sister-in-law Evelyn Keizer of Seattle Wash.; an uncle, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, and many friends.

Cliff was a talented musician and shared his gifts through singing, directing, and organ playing. He loved gardening and took great delight in sharing the fruits of his labors.

In keeping with his generous spirit and his passion for learning, he requested that his body be donated to the University of New Mexico Medical School. A memorial service was held at New Mexico Tech on Feb. 21. Memorial gifts may be given to the First Presbyterian Church of Socorro, the Socorro Good Samaritan Village, or to a charity of the giver's choice.

James Preston Malott, Sr., died March 24, 1998. He was born Jan. 22, 1914, in Bakersfield, Calif., to William Owen and Marie Preston Malott. He received a bachelor's degree in geological engineering in 1935 from the New Mexico School of Mines and later attended Harvard School of Business. His 42 year career at Conoco took him all over the world, managing aspects of the petroleum industry. At the time of his retirement, he had risen to the rank of vice president of Continental Oil Company. He served on numerous government/ industry committees, as well as pioneering in areas of minority affirmative action, environmental and wildlife protection.

Malott was an active member of the Episcopal Church. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Marylou Lobpries Malott; son, James Preston Malott II; daughter, Patricia Ann Malott; two grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; brother, Raymond A. Malott.

Alastair Reid II, a geologist, passed away in late May 1998 at the age of 58. He was a 1962 graduate.

Al Reid was born on June 9, 1940, in Washington, D. C. to Alastair M. Reid and Ruth Essex Reid. Shortly afterward the family moved to Dunkirk, New York, on Lake Erie, where he spent his childhood. Al's love for geology began with the discovery of marvelous fossil localities around his hometown. By the time he reached high school, he knew he wanted to become a paleontologist, and a lifelong passion for geology had begun.

Al moved west to attend the New Mexico School of Mines, where he received his bachelor's degree in geology in 1962. He went on to receive his master's and doctorate degrees in geology from the University of Arizona, graduating with a Ph.D. in 1968.

Al then moved to Midland, Tex., where he worked for Texaco, MGF, and Mosley Petroleum before becoming an independent consultant in 1981.

His passion for geology carried over into work with the West Texas Geological Society and PBS-SEPM. He served as president of PBS-SEPM in 1982 and was later elected to an honorary life membership. He also taught at Midland College, the Permian Basin Graduate Center, and Wichita State University. As the author or co-author of many technical geological papers, Al also gave talks at the regional geological societies and was a co-recipient of the coveted Leverson Award for best paper at the southwest section of the American Assn. of Petroleum Geologists. Doing geology and talking about geology were what Al enjoyed most.

He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Sue Reid of Midland; a daughter, Heather Marques of Midland; a son, Alastair M. Reid III; four grandchildren; and a sister, Ellen Reid of Phoenix, Ariz.

Irene Ryan(see related article)

David Rice, 81, former New Mexico Tech Regent and honorary alumnus, passed away on Saturday, May 9, at his home in Carlsbad. He was born on Dec. 25, 1916, the son of a United States Army officer. David grew up in the Philippines and came to the United States to attend the University of California at Berkeley, where he met his wife Eleanor.

He graduated with a master's degree in mining engineering from the Hearst School of Mines at the University of California at Berkeley. As a young mining engineer, he developed and operated a small gold mine in the desert near Yuma, Ariz.

During World War II, President Roosevelt ordered Rice to Ely, Nev., to assist in the mining and production of copper, which was much needed to support the war effort. After the war, the family moved to Crown King, Ariz., where he operated several gold mines. In the years to follow, he lived and mined in northern California and Arizona. In 1950, he settled in Carlsbad, NM.

After nearly four decades at the Potash Company of America, David Rice retired as vice-president of United States Operations. As part of a team at PCA, he played a key role in the engineering, development, and construction of the first underground continuous mining maching, which revolutionezed the potash mining industry.

Rice was a member of the Society of Mining Engineers. He had been appointed by the governor to the Mine Safety Advisory Board. In 1982, he received the Holmes Award in recognition of his safety achievements.

Survivors include his wife Eleanor of Carlsbad; daughter Carol Ohlin of Montreal, son David and wife Mimi Rice of Philadelphia, and daughter Judy Rice of Payson, Ariz.

Marie Taylor, widow of longtime Tech professor Langdon B. Taylor, passed away on Tuesday, April 14, after a brief illness, just one day short of her 78th birthday.

Marie was born in Eagletown, Okla., on April 15, 1920, the youngest of three children, to James and Martha (Amos) Jones. The family moved to the Broken Bow area, where she spent much of her childhood.

As a young woman living in Tulsa, Okla., she met a young petroleum engineer named Langdon Taylor, whom she married on Nov. 23, 1935. The couple moved to Kansas where Langdon was associated first with the Gulf Oil Corp. and later with the Kansas State Oil Commission. Marie began to develop her lifelong interest in art and attended the Wichita School of Fine Arts.

During the early 1950s, Langdon was appointed assistant professor of petroleum engineering at the Missouri School of Mines in Rolla. This experience soon led to the Taylors' arrival in Socorro in Jan., 1955, where Langdon would become the head of the petroleum engineering department.

The Taylors made their home for many years in the venerable Victorian structure on Church Street now known as "the Bursum House." Marie continued to develop her artistic skills, and became known as a portrait artist, painting several hundred during her lifetime.

Upon her husband's retirement in 1969, the couple left Socorro for their retirement home in Fayetteville, Ark., but not for long. The university enticed Lang Taylor out of retirement, and the Taylors returned to Socorro in 1977. Prof. Taylor died in 1986.

Marie Taylor remained active in artistic and social activities, and was a familiar sight at 49ers Celebrations, dressed in antique clothing.

She is survived by her children: Mary Lou Farquhar of Las Vegas., Nev.; Ann Boynton of Fayetteville, Ark.; and Susan Eveleth, Burt Taylor, and Mark Taylor of Socorro; and by many other relatives.
The Alumni Office received word of the passing of the following people, but further details were not available.

Mark Blazek died on June 16, 1990. He graduated in 1979.

James H. Brockman (51, BS, mining engr.) passed away on Jan. 1, 1998. He was retired and living in Silver City. He is survived by his wife.

Richard J. Caine (59, BS, mining engr.). He is survived by his wife, who lives in Encinitas, Calif.

John Cocubinsky (48, BS, mining engr.), passed away in August 1997.

James M. Flemming (66, BS, physics; 68, MS, physics) passed away on Feb. 22, 1995.

Francis J. McCavitt (48, BS, mining engr.)

Willys J. Keith Rogers (56, BS, mathematics) passed away on Dec. 10, 1996. She resided in Tarboro, NC.

John A. Salzmann (35, BS, mining engr.)

Guy E. Saunders (35, BS, basic sciences) passed away on Nov. 8, 1997. He resided in Midland, Tex.

Richard G. Schaal (38, BS, basic sciences) passed away on March 21, 1996.