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Obituaries, before May 1997

Obituaries, before May 1997


William Earl Bertholf II died April 11, 1994, at his home in Irving, Texas. From 1958 through 1969, he was on the faculty of NMIMT, where he also served as vice president of finance and state resource economist. Bertholf was born on Aug. 7, 1915 in Savanna, Ill., where he lived until high school when the family moved to Chicago. He attended the University of Chicago, where he received a BS in 1946, MS in 1946 in geology, and Doctor of Law in 1953. During 1941, he was employed as a mining engineer and geologist by the Quincy Mining Co. In early 1942, he was a geologist for Republic Steel's Northern (iron) Ore Mines. He served in the U. S. Naval Reserve from mid-1943 until the end of World War II. Bertholf was employed as a geologist for Cleveland Cliffs Iron Co. from 1946 until he entered law school in 1950. He then practiced law until he joined NMIMT in 1958.

Since 1970, Bertholf lived in Texas and was active in law and mineral socioeconomics until his death. He was a member of the Episcopalian church. Survivors include his wife, Cynthia Bertholf of Irving, Tex.; sons William of Virginia Beach and Henry of Houston, Tex.; daughters Cynthia B. Wolfe of Lakewood, Calif., and Wendon "Wendy" McNeill of Albuquerque.

E. L. "Casey" Chapin, 86, passed away on Dec. 29, 1995. He was born on Dec. 28, 1909, in Rogers County, Okla. He graduated from the New Mexico School of Mines in 1934 with a degree in geological engineering. He was a retired petroleum engineer for AMOCO Oil Co., past president of AMOCO Alumni Association, a member of Masonic Lodge No. 966 where he just received his 50-year pin, and an active member of Marvin United Methodist Church. Survivors include his wife, Louise, of Tyler, Tex.; son and daughter-in-law, John S. and Micki Chapin, Boulder, Colo.; sister Bernice V. Holman, Bullhead, Ariz.; grandchildren, Elizabeth Chapin and Michael Chapin, both of Boulder, Colo.; and several nieces and nephews.

David Lee Cooper, 44, succumbed to cancer on Dec. 30, 1994. He was born on May 18, 1951 in Tacoma, Wash. He graduated from Lovington High School in 1969. He served in the U. S. Army from 1969 to 1971 in Germany. He graduated from NMIMT in 1975 with a bachelor's degree in geology. He had worked as a petroleum geologist in the Permian Basin for 20 years. Survivors include his wife Janet of Lovington; two sons, Michael of Lovington and David of Las Cruces; three brothers, Edward of Lovington, Mark of Ruidoso, and Gary of Levelland; and one sister, Debra of Ruidoso.

Tracie Leticia Dickens-Lopez
, 29, passed away on Oct. 19, 1995. She received her bachelor's degree in physics in 1989 after which she attended New Mexico State Univ., where she earned a master's degree in electrical engineering. She was working on her Ph.D. at Parker College in Irving, Tex. She is survived by her parents, Lewis Dickens of rio Rancho and Celia Lopez of Albuquerque, sister Kellie Dickens of Albuquerque; and close friend Tim Southward of Florence, Ala.

Paul Duletsky, 75, a longtime resident of Livermore, Calif., died on April 13, 1996. Born in Detroit on March 3, 1921, Duletsky was a Livermore resident for 28 years. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and earned his bachelor's degree in metallurgy from NMIMT in 1951. He was a metallurgical engineer at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory for 10 years. He is survived by a daughter, Dr. Pat Duletsky of Frisco, Colo.; sister, Pat Staples of Sun City West, Ariz.; and brothers Michael Duletsky of Detroit and John Duletsky of Reston, Va.

Michael A. Iatauro, 52, of Socorro, NM, succumbed to cancer on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 1996, at the Univ. of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. He was the husband of Linda (Donner) Iatauro. He was Professor of Music and Director of the Program of Music and Fine Arts at New Mexico Tech. Besides his wife Linda, he is survived by his father, Pasquale Iatauro of New York City; his sons, Michael J. Iatauro of Deming, NM, and Steele McGonegal of Virginia Beach, VA; daughters, Brandy L. Miller of Socorro, NM, and Shannon McGonegal of King George, VA; sisters Mary Falcone of New Jersey and Frances Costa of Long Island, New York; one niece and two nephews.

Michael Iatauro was born in Astoria, New York, on Feb. 26, 1943, son of Pasquale and Lucy (Di Biase) Iatauro. He attended high school at New York's School for Music and Arts, and earned his Bachelor's of Fine Arts at the Manhattan School of Music. In 1968, he received his master's degree from Central Michigan University. He joined New Mexico Tech in 1976, and over the years, lead a variety of musical groups -- concert chorus, orchestra, and jazz band -- as well as directing a number of musicals. In addition, Mike was a composer whose works were nationally recognized. His compositions received three awards from ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, and his works had several times been selected for performance at music festivals.

Henry C. "Hank" Koppel passed away on March 4, 1996. He graduated from NMIMT in 1955 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and was a longtime employee of Aldrich Chemical Co. in Milwaukee. He is survived by his wife, Patty; and daughters Judy Dahl, Sandy Koppel, and Susie Palmer.

John G. McCaslin passed away on Oct. 7, 1995, in Spokane, Wash. He was born in Broken Bow, Neb., on Jan. 1, 1922, to George and Nettie McCaslin. Following graduation from Broken Bow High School in 1938, he worked at various occupations until entering the U. S. Army Air Corps in 1942, where he served as a control tower operator through 1945. John graduated from the New Mexico School of Mines in 1950 with a bachelor's degree in physics. He also earned a master's degree in geophysics in 1952. After graduation, he worked for Boeing Aviation and Anaconda Mining.

A turning point came when someone at Montana Tech called Prof. Hardy at NMIMT and asked him to recommend a person to teach geophysics. Dr. Hardy recommended McCaslin, who in 1955 began a teaching career which lasted until his retirement in 1985. In the summer of 1966, McCaslin was awarded a fellowship to the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, where he worked on geophysical problems. McCaslin was a member of many professional societies and wrote a number of technical papers. Following his retirement, he was working on two novels and several short stories. One novel, My Dear Little Brother, published in 1991, was the story of a student at NMSM, told through letters.

McCaslin's wife Jean passed away a year before he did. Survivors are son Jerry and wife Jane; daughters and sons-in-law Kathy and Mike Kirsch of Boulder, Mont., Pat and Ron Port of Spokane, Wash, Michele and Bob Harding of Kokomo, Ind., and Beth and Dale Brekke of Yukon, Okla.; brother Gage and wife Jan of Torrington, Wyom., and sister Hope and husband Jim Barrett of Council Bluffs, Iowa. The McCaslins also had many grandchildren.

Daniel Steinbeck Nutter, Jr., passed away on July 10, 1996, after a lengthy illness. He was born June 4, 1923. He graduated from Santa Fe High School in 1941. After serving with the United States Army Air Corps in the Pacific, he went on to obtain a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering from NMIMT in 1952 and was chief engineer for the State of New Mexico Oil Commission when he retired in 1982. He is survived by his wife, Esther; daughter Kaye; two sons, Harvey and Ronnie; three grandchildren; and many other relatives.

Jeremy Robinson, 23, (95, BS, math) succumbed to a hiking accident in the Gila Wilderness in March 1996. Jeremy had been active in Socorro Search and Rescue while at NMIMT, from which he graduated with highest honors in mathematics in 1995. After college, he joined the Peace Corps and went to Cameroon, Africa, but came home when he discovered that he was being given a job that would have been filled by one of the few native teachers. He loved rural New Mexico and thus went to Quemado to teach math. He also taught computer science at the Grants branch of New Mexico State Univ. On March 15, 1996, his parents reported him missing when he failed to return from a solo 45-mile hike in the Gila. Authorities discovered his body at the foot of a rugged cliff, and suggested that he might have been suffering from the disorienting effects of hypothermia while searching for water. His family includes his parents, Joe and Jacque Robinson; sister Shelly; close friend Melanie Trujillo; maternal grandparents Joe and Monica LaMarca; paternal grandfather Coy Robinson, and many other relatives.

Donald A. Ryan, 68, passed away suddenly on Sept. 6, 1995. He received his bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering in 1951. He is survived by his wife, Jane; son, Kevin; and daughter, Kathleen.

John Schilling passed away on July 8, 1996. He received his master's degree in geology from NMIMT in 1952 and began his career at the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources. He then worked at the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology for 27 years and from 1972 to 1987 was Nevada State Geologist and director of the Bureau. He is survivived by his wife, Connie, who lives in Reno, Nev.

Eugene E. Torres, 74, a prominent Socorro businessman, succumbed to lung cancer on Sat., Nov. 25, 1995, eight months after he received the New Mexico Tech President's Club award for distinguished service. Born Nov. 21, 1921, in Monticello, N.M. to Emilio and Juanita Sanchez Torres, he moved with his family at an early age to Magdalena. After graduation from Socorro High School in 1941, he attended New Mexico Highlands University. He then served with the U. S. Army Air Corps' 9th Division, flying 39 combat missions over Germany as a gunner and radio operator in a B-26 bomber. Shot down twice over enemy territory, he was able to escape both times with the help of resistance forces.

In November 1945, Gene married Euna Cuvillier and returned to Magdalena, where he began a career in retailing with his brother, Max. In 1957, Gene moved to Socorro where he and his partner, Alfred Gilbert, ran the local Gamble's store. In 1971, he became sole owner of the store, which he expanded as a family-run enterprise with the help of his sons, Paul and David Torres, who run the store today. Active in the community and religious affairs, Gene served two terms as Socorro County commissioner, was a board member of Belen Savings and Loan, and was on the board of First State Bank of Socorro since 1971. He was an active member of Socorro Chamber of Commerce and Socorro Men's Golf Association.

Survivors include his wife Euna of Socorro; son Paul and wife Minnie; son David and wife Theresa (72, BGS); sons Max (77,BGS), Tom, and Art; a daughter Mary Griswold (83, BGS) ; and ten grandchildren. Members of the Torres family who are currently Tech students are Paul, Jr., and wife Alison and David Jr.

Donald E. Thompson, 62, died August 18, 1996, in Tucson. He graduated in 1959 from NMIMT with a degree in metallurgical engineering. He was employed by the Dana Kepner Co. as manager of their Tucson branch and was also a lifetime member of VFW Post 549. Survivors include his wife Judith; daughters Carla Sanborn and Deborah Youngblood; son Dewayne; brother Arthur, and sister Alice; and six grandchildren.

Harold Wells, 74, died on May 11, 1996, in Albuquerque. He was born on Aug. 24, 1921 to LeRoy and Florence Wells in New Britain, Conn. He graduated from high school in Danbury, Conn., and attended Friends Academy on Long Island, N.Y., and Hillyer Junior College in Hartford, Conn. He earned a BS degree in phyiscal, education from the University of Illinois at Urbana and taught at many places, including NMIMT.

He is survived by his wife Wilma; sons Daniel of Jackson, MS, Jeff and wife Carolyn of Las Vegas, Nev.; Andres and wife Tracie of Malta, Ill.; and four grandchildren.


The Alumni Office received word on the passing of these people, but no further details were available.

Roland M. Richmond (37, BS, geological engineering) of Pfafftown, N. C., on July 4, 1995.

Howard A. Wilmeth (47, BS, mining engineering) of Silver City, N.M.

Oleg Salzberg (85, MS, petroleum engineering) succumbed to a heart attack at the age of 34. He was a resident of Cherry Hill, N. J.

James Martin Theriac
(53, BS, petroleum engineering) of Hobbs, N.M.

Andrew Wiegand (35, BS, mining engineering) passed away on Oct. 25, 1995.