Obituaries, March - May 2001

Obituaries, March - May 2001

[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.]

Willow M. Burand age 86, a 1953 alumnus and longtime friend of New Mexico Tech, passed away in Albuquerque on Sunday, April 15, 2001. He had been a resident of Albuquerque since 1990. He is survived by his wife, Jean Burand of Albuquerque; son, Charles R. Burand of Monticello, UT; four grandchildren; six great grandchildren; and brothers, Donald Burand and wife, Lola of Adrian, MI and Dale Burand and wife Vera of Midwest City, OK.

Mr. Burand married Jean Kerr on April 10, 1943, in Montgomery, Ala. After serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II, Burand attended New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, where he earned a bachelor's degree in mining engineering. He spent many years working in Alaska for the state and taught at the University of Alaska. He was a member of Shepherd of the Valley Presbyterian Church.

Memorial services were held Thursday, April 19, 2001, with Rev. Phil Butin officiating. In lieu of flowers, friends were asked to please lend a hand to someone in need or contributions may be made to The Storehouse, 106 Broadway SE, 87102 or to a favorite charity.
Willard Christoffer

Willard Charles Christoffer, age 54, a 1971 graduate of New Mexico Tech in environmental engineering, died suddenly on May 14, 2001, as the result of injuries sustained during a training drill with the Western Springs (Ill.) Fire Department. Willard had been a member of the fire department for approximately 15 weeks as a paid-on-call probationary firefighter.

Willard was married to Lucy (Lucas) and they had resided in Western Springs since 1990. Besides Lucy, he is survived by two children: Charles, 8, and Alyssa, 6. He is also survived by his sister Gail Christoffer Baruch and brother-in-law Michael.

He was employed by ATC Associates, Inc., (Downers Grove) as a regional director of Industrial Hygiene Services. He was a Certified Industrial Hygienist, as well as a Licensed Industrial Hygienist and a diplomate of the Academy of Industrial Hygiene. For many years, Willard was an active member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), serving as the president of the Chicago section from 1983 to 1984. He was currently a member of their Asbestos Analysis Committee.

Willard conducted classes and seminars nationwide on asbestos, hazardous materials, and other environmental issues. He also provided expert testimony in court cases related to asbestos issues.

In addition to his degree from New Mexico Tech, Willard also held a Master of Business Administration (Finance) from Saint Xavier College (Chicago), awarded in 1988.

Willard was an active member of St. John's Lutheran Church (LaGrange, Ill.) He was a member of the Senior Choir and the Board of Church Properties.

Willard loved being with his family and looked forward to vacations so he could introduce his children to the beauty and complexities of the United States and Canada. He loved reading to the children, singing, vegetable gardening, cooking and grilling, and baking bread.

Dr. Frank Kottlowski, former director of the Bureau of Mines, passed away on April 18, 2001, at the age of 80.

Frank was born on April 11, 1921, to Frank Charles and Adela (Markworth) Kottlowski near Indianapolis, Ind. Frank was an aerial navigator and photographic interpreter for the 8th Air Force from 1942 to 1945. He attended Indiana University and received his bachelor's degree in geology in 1947, his master's in structural geology in 1949, and his Ph.D. in economic geology in 1951. In 1951, he accepted a position at the New Mexico Bureau of Mines as an economic geologist. He was director of the Bureau and New Mexico State Geologist from 1974 until his retirement in 1991.

Frank was preceded in death by his brother, Harold. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Florence (Chrisco) of Socorro; daughters Karen Harvey and her husband, Albert of Brighan City, Utah, Jan Wallace of Socorro, and Dianna Schoderbek and her husband David of Farmington, N.M. four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

The Alumni Office recently received notice of the passing of Richard Lannen, Class of 1951, in 1985. Richard Lannen graduated from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology with a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering. His career consisted of over 20 years with Conoco, followed by eight years in Iran with the oil and petrochemical company there. Lannen was then a drilling consultant in Libya, and finally worked in Saudi Arabia with ARAMCO. He served as a petroleum engineer, District Superintendent, and drilling engineer for Conoco. Overseas he was primarily a drilling and production engineer.

Notably, he was the engineer responsible for some of the first deep gas wells (approximately 20,000 ft) in the Permian Basin. His career in Iran and Saudi Arabia also involved drilling for gas and oil in deep in and difficult situations.

His widow, Rosalie Lannen, lives in Dallas. His two sons, Richard and Larry Lannen, also live in the Dallas area. Five grandchildren also survive him.

Eiko Masui Parson, 72, a resident of Socorro, NM, died after a battle with cancer, on Monday, May 14. She was born in Osaka, Japan on March 23, 1929. During the American occupation of Japan after World War II, she met, and on November 26, 1951, married Charles E. Parson, Jr. He preceded her in death after 43 years of marriage. After being stationed in San Francisco, Louisiana, and Texas, in 1960 Eiko and Charles settled in Socorro with their young family. Eiko became active in the community and for many years helped manage the Socorro animal shelter as an unpaid volunteer.

Eiko was a devoted mother and grandmother who loved animals, gardening and crocheting. Her many close ties to Tech included her daughter, Mary Franklin, who worked at Tech for many years in Student Accounts; Mary's husband Joe Franklin, who graduated from Tech in 1990 and has, for many years, been the manager of Data Processing at Tech's Information Systems Division; and Eiko's daughter, Brenda Parson, who is the contracts assistant with the PRRC.

In addition, Eiko is survived by her daughters, Diana Lincoln and husband, Ray, Patricia Rosenthal and husband, Andy of Las Cruces, five grandchildren: Leslie Rosenthal, Charlene Lincoln, Michelle Lincoln, Eric Rosenthal and Alex Franklin; her sister-in-law, Lois Bell and husband Richard, of Socorro; Paul Stinnett, who was like a son to her; a cousin Yukiko Kitanaka and husband Takao of Osaka, Japan; close friends, Randy Jackson and Frances Green; and many in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Socorro Humane Society spay-neuter program, P.O. Box 451, Socorro, NM 87801.

Many Tech alumni will remember Eiko for her generosity, kindness, and quick wit. It was not unusual for her to open her home and her heart to Tech students in need. Randall Jackson, ' 78, is one of the many students who were fortunate enough to enjoy her friendship. He is searching for students like himself to join him in building a small memorial, on campus, in her honor. If you are interested, please contact [address coming]

David Matter, a 1950 alumnus and recipient of the Alumni Association's Distinguished Achievement Award for 2000 passed away on April 26, 2001.

David was born May 22, 1925, in Philadelphia, Pa., a son of Charles and Hanna Nathans Matter. He graduated from high school in Philadelphia in 1941. After serving in the military and graduating from the New Mexico School of Mines with a bachelor of science degree in metallurgical engineering, he worked for Pitman-Dun Laboratories, Frankford Arsenal, in Philadelphia for a number of years. From 1950 to 1956 he was employed by the manufacturing research department at International Harvester Co. in Chicago, Ill. He started as a research technician and was successively promoted to research metallurgist and head of the metallurgical and melting sections. He worked on melting and metallurgy of gray iron, malleable iron, ductile iron and steel castings. He consulted with the corporation's engineering departments on material selection and casting design, consulted for the corporation's foundries (13 at that time) on applications of new foundry processes and materials, and introduced ductile iron production, shell molding and other new processes.

From 1956 to 1992, he was employed with Ohio Ferro Alloys Corp, now SiMetco of Canton, Ohio. He joined the company as the manger of foundry service. In 1970, he was named assistant vice president and general sales manager and was responsible for sales and service in seven different locations around the country. In 1974, he was named vice president of sales. In 1982 he was named corporate vice president and director. His duties included increased involvement in production and financial planning.

David was a member of the American Foundrymen's Society, American Society for Metals, Society of Automotive Engineers, American Society for Testing and Materials and the Ductile Iron Society. For the American Foundrymen's Society, he was the director and chairman of the society's Canton district chapter, the national director and a regional vice president. In 1966, he received the society's "Award of Scientific Merit" and in 1975 the society's highest honor, the "Penton Gold Medal," and was elected an honorary life member. For SAE, he was a member of Iron and Steel Technical Committee Division 9. As a member of ASTM, he was the chairman of the ductile iron and gray iron committees. He also was a member and served on the board of directors of the Ductile Iron Society. He was a member of Foundry Educational Foundation, where he served on the board of directors from 1971 to 1976 and as president from 1975 to 1976. He was chairman of college evaluation and scholarship committees. He was member of Arrowhead Country Club in Canton, Ohio, where he served on the board from 1967 to 1981 and 1983 to 1990 and as president from 1975 to 1977 and again from1987 to 1989. He was a member of the board of governors for the Northern Ohio Golf Association. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army and received the ETO medal, a Bronze Star, the Silver Star, Combat Infantry Citation, the Distinguished Unit Citation and Belgian Croix de Guerre. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Patricia Helen Sommer Oberer Matter of the home; a son, Michael Matter and wife Cyndie of Sunnyvale, Calif.; stepsons Karl Oberer and wife Jill of Sandusky, Ohio, and Fred Oberer and wife Nancy of Frederick, Md.; stepdaughters Linda Ratcliffe and husband William of Hammondsville, Ohio, and Karen Haneke and husband Bernd of Durham; five grandchildren, Kathryn Oberer, Daniel Oberer, Elizabeth Oberer, Megan Oberer and Russell Ratcliffe; and a sister, Sally Weinstein of Phoenix, Ariz. He was preceded in death by a brother, Alfred Matter.

Michael Yellott
, age 21, passed away on April 25, 2001. Michael was a Tech student from August 1998 to Dec. 1999, and was a chemistry major. He was a lifelong resident of Albuquerque, and a 1998 graduate of Albuquerque Academy.

Michael's classmate, Brian Reinhardt (01, BS, physics), sent the following appreciation:

"Michael Yellott was a student at New Mexico Tech from August 1998 to December 1999. During that time, he made more friends than he could ever have imagined. He had the best sense of humor of anyone I have ever known in my life. However, one thing in particular stands out about him. Two years ago, I was in an unfortunate accident that nearly cost me my life. During the time I was hospitalized, Michael came to visit me. He helped me through the fear of death and disability and proved how good a friend he really was by being there for me. I couldn't have asked for a better person to be my friend.

"Mike, I know you're up there somewhere watching us from a better place. You have no idea how much you will be missed."
Obituary notices received

The Alumni Office received word of the passing of William Rufus Von Tress, Class of 1951, on May 12, 1999. No further word was available.

The Alumni Office received word of the passing of Brent White (69, BS, physics; 70, BS, computer science) in 1997 of leukemia. No further information was available.

The Alumni Office received word of the passing of Sarah Jane Williamson in November of 1998. She is survived by a son, Lorenzo Williamson Raras. No further information is yet available.