Obituaries, Mar. - Aug. 1999

Obituaries, Mar. - Aug. 1999

[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.]

Homer Dailey (35, BS, mining engr.) passed away on Feb. 3, 1999 at a Fort Worth, Tex., hospital. Homer Daily was born on Dec. 29, 1913, in Schnectady, N.Y., to Homer and Grace Dailey and had been a Benbrook, Tex., resident since 1977. He retired from Conoco Oil with over 40 years of service. His sister, Wilma Kimball, preceded him in death on Oct. 17, 1998. He is survived by his dear friend, Sara Lawson of Forth Worth; niece, Donna Heine of Forth Worth; nephew, Jon Kimball of Jacksonville, Fla; and several great-nieces and nephews in the Benbrook and Ft. Worth area.

Ernst W. Heckart died peacefully, Tuesday, July 13, 1999, at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis after a long battle with pulmonary fibrosis. He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Alexandra Ann of Chesterfield, Mo., and his parents, Lt. Commander (ret.) and Mrs. Harold Heckart of Norfolk, Va. Ernie was born on Dec. 1, 1946, in Jacksonville, Fla. Because of his father's naval career, the family lived in several places, and Ernie attended high schools in Rhode Island and Maryland. He graduated from high school in Bermuda in 1964, and earned a bachelor of science degree in geophysics from New Mexico Tech in 1968. After graduation, he began a long and distinguished career as a geophysicist for Shell Oil. He held positions in Houston, Midland, and Denver, until his retirement in 1998. Donations may be made to the Salvation Army or to Animal Rights Alliance of Missouri, Box 28544, St. Louis, Mo. 63146.

Roy Jetter, age 76, passed away on Feb. 25, 1999. He was born on Dec. 26, 1922 in Breckenridge, Tex. Jetter graduated from Jal High School, attended Hardin-Simmons University, and earned a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering from the New Mexico School of Mines in 1945. He spent 48 years in the oil industry, working for Western Natural Gas, (a subsidiary of El Paso Co. Natural Gas); Dawson Geophysical, Blanks Energy, First State Bank of Midland, and as an independent geologist and engineer. In the early years of his career, he was the first "wildcatter" in the Four Corners area.

Jetter held memberships in the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (50 years), West Texas Geological Society, Permian Basin Geophysical Society, and Scottish Rite Masonic Lodge (50 years). He served on the school board of Midland Independent School District, the board of the Midland-Lee Youth Centers Inc., the board of the Texas Tech Dads Association, the Advisory Council for the Order of DeMolay, the Salvation Army Advisory Board, the Board of Directors of Family Counseling Services, and the board of Junior Achievement of Midland Inc. He had been a member of the First United Methodist Church for 50 years.

Jetter is survived by Hattie Mae, his wife of 55 years; two daughters and sons-in-law, Judy and Bill Slease of Dallas, and Susie and Don Pine of Houston; an aunt and cousin, Becky Smith and Becky Jo Doom of Jal, N. M.; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Esther Landenburg Kelly
passed away on July 24 at her home in Roswell. She was the wife of the late John M.Kelly, after whom Kelly Hall is named, and the mother of J. Michael Kelly, a Tech alumnus who served on the Board of Regents from 1992 to 1997.

Esther Kelly was born on June 18, 1913, in Saunders County, Nebraska. Following graduation from the University of Nebraska in 1936, she moved to Hobbs to teach school. There, she met John M. Kelly, to whom she was married on Dec. 29, 1938. John was a graduate of the New Mexico School of Mines, where he earned a bachelor's degree in mining engineering in 1936 and a professional degree in petroleum engineering in 1939. John was presented with an honorary doctorate by the university in 1963.

In 1945, John Kelly started Elk Oil Co., using Esther's initials for the name. Over the course of their marriage, the couple had four children: Joseph James, Patricia (Kelly) Kyle, Mary Ann (Kelly) Twitty, and J. Michael. Both sons are in oil-related businesses: Elk Oil Company is run by Joseph Kelly, and J. Michael Kelly operates Keltic Services, a well-testing company.

In 1961, John Kelly was asked to serve as an assistant secretary of the Interior under President John F. Kennedy. He and his family moved to Washington, D. C., where they resided until 1968, when they returned to Roswell. John maintained a consulting office in Washington until 1975.

From 1975 until his death in 1977 at the age of 63, John M. Kelly served on the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents. He was instrumental in convincing state legislators to place the Petroleum Recovery Research Center (PRRC) on the Tech campus rather than in southeastern New Mexico. In his honor, Tech named the building housing the PRRC "Kelly Hall."

After her husband's death, Esther Kelly became interested in needlepoint and took several trips abroad to expand her knowledge of the craft. She also developed an interest in minatures, which led to her running the Stage Stop Minature Shop in Roswell for several years.

She was also active in volunteer and church activities. She was a member of St. Peter Catholic Church and Assumption Catholic Church. She was a Lady of the Holy Sepulchure and was also a member of Catholic Daughters, American Needlepoint Guild, Friends of the Roswell Public Library, Petro Club, NAME, Symphony Guild, Morning Garden Club, and St. Mary's Hospital Auxiliary.

In 1995, Esther set up the John and Esther Kelly Scholarship, which has benefitted many of New Mexico Tech's top students.

Jerry Neil (53, BS, petroleum engr.) passed away on March 4, 1999, after an extended illness due to diabetes. Further information was not available.