Obituaries, June to August 2009

Leonard Bjorn, 93, passed away after a long illness on Sept. 30, 2008. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Amy Anderson Bjorn of Glastonbury, Conn., three children and six grandchildren. He was born on Nov. 17, 1914, in Hartford, Conn., and graduated from high school there in 1932. He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936 and subsequently attended the New Mexico School of Mines, where he lettered in track and graduated in 1944. After returning to Connecticut, he was employed as a test metallurgist at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft until his retirement in 1977. A long-time resident of Glastonbury, he was also a past president of AARP Chapter 2010. Leonard was a lover of language, literature, music, and geology. He will be remembered for the sense of humor which he retained to the end of his life.

Dr. Robert Bowman, professor of hydrology, passed away in June 2009.  Please see the related article:  Hydrology Professor Dr. Rob Bowman, 1950-2009

Michael Fitzgerald passed away on Aug. 11, 2009. According to Dr. William X. Chávez: “Mike was a tremendous supporter of our students in mineral exploration – his field – the but we will miss most strongly his personal involvement in student career choices. Andy Campbell and I would routinely take students to the Tucson area (where Mike lived) for mine visits, and we would host a collective dinner for Mike and his wife Marisa, so that they could get to know the students personally. Mike would take detailed notes from the students as he spoke with them about their education at Tech, their summer jobs, and their career paths. The students will decidedly miss his input and advice.” For a memorial by William X. Chávez and Andy Campbell, please see  Michael J. Fitzgerald

Sean Hatch passed away on Aug. 28, 2009, after a brief illness. Sean was born in Albuquerque, attended Belen High School, and on the advice of Dr. Allan Gutjahr, went on to New Mexico Tech. Sean proved to be a brilliant student at Tech, earning the Brown Award, being named a Macey Scholar, and earning a GPA of 4.0. He received bachelor’s degrees in math and physics in 1995 and a master’s degree in math in 1996.

Sean was employed by Lockheed Martin in Goodyear, Ariz., as a research scientist. He enjoyed reading technical books, solving “impossible” math problems, playing with the latest electronic gadgets, and shooting and hiking with friends. He is survived by his wife Tamara Hernandez (94, BS, math; 94, BS, physics), two sons (Allan, 4, and Evan, 2), parents Teresha and Rodney Hatch of Belen, sister Darhla (Hatch) Gilson and husband James Gilson (91, BS, psychology).

Sean regarded Dr. Allan Gutjahr as a mentor and friend. Donations in Sean’s memory may be made to the Allan Gutjahr Fund at New Mexico Tech, which benefits graduate students applying mathematical methods to hydrological problems.

Donald R. Hogan passed away in Las Cruces on Dec. 28, 2008, after a battle with cancer. He was born June 12, 1939, in Dorchester, Mass. He earned a master’s degree in petroleum engineering at New Mexico Tech. He is survived by his wife, Jennie, three sons, and three grandchildren.

Robert Slingerland passed away on Sept. 26, 2008, in Dallas, Tex. He was born in Las Cruces, N.M. on Jan. 25, 1924. He grew up in Kansas and Oklahoma, returning to Las Cruces, N.M. during his high school years. Bob was a Navy Fighter Pilot during World War II and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war, he and Lois Anderson were married in Las Cruces. He attended New Mexico School of Mines, where he studied geological engineering. Most of his career was with Texas Pacific Oil Company. During his long career he lived in several locations in the United States. Bob was a member of Lake Highlands UMC for 39 years. He was an avid coach for boys’ baseball. Bob was an ESL tutor at his church. He enjoyed golf, tennis, bridge, reading, and traveling.