Obits - 2011

Joseph William Keeney,

(PhD in geosciences, 1968)

77, passed away Monday, Jan. 17, 2011, in Alamogordo. He was born Dec. 19, 1933, in Arkansas City, Kan., to William Hogan and Hellen Rosetta (Ronsick) Keeney.

Joe graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1956 and earned a doctorate in geosciences from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in 1968. His professional career included atmospheric physics, exploration geophysics and computer science from 1960 until his death. He did research in geophysics, wrote numerous scientific papers and had some patents.

He lived in Alamogordo since 1988. Joe enjoyed backpacking and hiking in the New Mexico mountains and exploring the old railroad trails.

Joe is survived by his wife of 52 years, Carlyne Rae Gerle, whom he married June 22, 1958, in North Platte, Neb. He is also survived by his children: Kevin D. Keeney and his wife, Heidi, of Cedar Park, Texas; Karen K. Normandin and her husband Douglas, of Garland, Texas; David V.M. Keeney and his wife, Tetyana Litvinenko, of El Paso; and Dr. Susan G. Keeney and her husband, Tony McKee, of Las Vegas, Nev.; grandchildren Matthew and Amber Normandin, of Garland; and half-sister Ruth Williams. He was preceded in death by his father, mother and step-father.

Betty Reynolds, who served as library director of the Skeen Library at the New Mexico Tech from 1981 to 1998, passed away at her home in Deming on April 22, 2011. She received a bachelor’s in Library Science/Social Science from Northern Illinois University, a master’s in Librarianship from University of Denver, and an M.B.A. from University of Missouri-Kansas City. She was active in various library organizations and served as secretary of the New Mexico Library Association, and represented the Tech Library in the New Mexico Consortium of Academic Libraries and New Mexico Library Services Alliances. She also belonged to the Friends of the Socorro Public Library and served as a trustee at the Socorro Public Library and Hillsboro Community Library.

Anthony “Tony” K. Cafarelli passed away June 5, 2011, at 84 years old. Tony was born October 11, 1926, in Trinidad, Colo., as the only son to Antonio and Louise Cafarelli.

Tony’s father died when Tony was just six months old and his mother remarried to Tony’s beloved step-father Fred Catenacci. Tony spent many of his early years in Raton, N.M. At the age of 17 Tony enlisted in the United States Navy and later graduated from the New Mexico School of Mines.

During his school tenure, he practiced his craft around the world, from Superior, Ariz., to Mexico City, and Nicaragua.

Following this, he enjoyed a wonderful career at Reynolds Metals, which later became Alcoa. Tony was a 3rd and 4th Degree Knight of Columbus for several years and was also a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks for over 50 years.

He and his wife are also members of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Tempe, Ariz. Tony is survived by his wife of 55 years, Margaret; his four children: Loretta Pacheco, and Damien, Randy, and Margaret Cafarelli. Tony was also blessed with three grandchildren: Rosalie White, Patti Schoenhardt, and John Randolph, and six great-grandchildren: Devin, Kerstyn, Noah, Preston, Hailey, and McKenzie. Tony was a well loved man and will be greatly missed.

Harlan N. “Dusty” Rhodes

(B.S. petroleum, 1953) passed away peacefully at home on October 11, 2011, after a life well lived. He was 85, and a well known Denver oil man who was a wonderful father, husband and grandfather, and a mentor, role-model and friend to many. He will be greatly missed.

Dusty was born in Wayne, Neb., on April 26, 1926, to Emma Johanna Schroeder and Harley Nicholas Rhodes. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and the Korean War. Rhodes earned a bachelor’s of science in Petroleum Engineering at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. He was a Registered Professional Engineer and Land Surveyor in various Rocky Mountain states. He was also a commercial pilot, a restorer of antique aircraft, an aviation historian and an aircraft appraiser.

In what he always claimed was the best decision of his life, he married Betty Lou Etz in Sweetwater, Texas, on June 1, 1951. She preceded him in death after more than 50 happy and adventurous years of marriage. They are survived by three children: a son, William F. Rhodes and wife, Tracy, of Prescott, Ariz.; a daughter, Kristen E. Rhodes-Anderson and husband, Stephen, of Longmont, Colo., and a daughter, Patricia L. Rhodes-Vasil and husband, George, of Lake Stevens, Wash. Dusty and Betty were blessed with seven grandchildren.

Rhodes worked for more than 50 years in the oil and gas industry. He served as chief operating officer and/or director for a number of Denver-based independent oil and gas companies. At the time of his death, he operated H.N. Rhodes, P.E., L.L.C., owner of oil and gas interests throughout the Rocky Mountain and Mid-Continent producing provinces. During his professional career he belonged to many professional and industry organizations and was an officer and/or director of most. At his death, he was a member of the Antique Airplane Association, the Experimental Aircraft Association, the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, and the Rocky Mountain Petroleum Pioneers.

A celebration of his abundant life was Monday, Oct. 17, 2011, at The Lodge at Balfour, in Louisville, Colo. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you perform an act of kindness or charity to honor his memory.

Please share thoughts, memories, and condolences with Dusty’s family at www.cristmortuary.com.

Jack H. Hunt

(B.S. mine engineering, 1950)

Jack Hunt passed away in Albuquerque on Nov. 9, 2011.

Jack graduated from Grants High School (N.M.) in 1943 and entered the U.S. Air Force. Upon discharge in 1946, he enrolled at New Mexico Tech. After graduation, he moved with his family to Carlsbad, N.M., where he enjoyed a lifelong career in the potash mining industry.

Duane H. Williams

(B.S. Physics in 1956 and M.S. in Earth Science in 1958)

Duane H. Williams, 77, passed away at his home in Capitan, N.M., on Tuesday, December 6, 2011. Born in Magdalena, N.M., on June 24, 1934, he grew up in Socorro. He earned degrees from New Mexico Tech: a bachelor’s in Physics in 1956 and a master’s in Earth Science in 1958.

He and his wife, Nadine (Stendel) Williams, moved to China Lake, Calif. Following a 31-year career in research management at the China Lake Naval Ordnance Test Station (currently China Lake, Naval Air Weapons Station), he retired from federal civil service in 1989.

In 1990, he returned to his native New Mexico, adopting Lincoln County as his new home. Williams was an athlete and outdoor enthusiast, and following his retirement to New Mexico, he became a dedicated participant in state and community affairs in active support of smaller, efficient, and open government.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Daniel Berne Williams and Verna Marie (Overton) Williams. He is survived by his wife, Nadine Williams, of Capitan, N.M.; daughter Karyl Williams with son-in-law Craig Westbrook of Capitan; and son Marc Williams with daughter-in-law Danialle (Rodgers) Williams and stepson Dylan Meyers, of Ridgecrest, Calif.

Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez

(Jan. 27, 1932-Dec. 3, 2011)


(U.S. Air Force, Ret.) died peacefully surrounded by his family on Friday, December 30, 2011. Marquez was a member of the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents from 1989 to 1994.

He is survived by his wife, the former Stella Alvarez of Las Cruces, N.M., and their children: Diana Marquez, David Marquez, Paula Hewitt and her daughter Alisa; Patricia and Allan Knighten and their daughter Adrienne; Phil and Susan Marquez and their children Marisa, Brittanae Brown and Michael Birner; siblings Ruben and Pedie Marquez, Jim and Helen Marquez, Mary Ann Greiner and sister- in-law Esther Marquez; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents Santiago and Emma Marquez, his brother Ben Marquez and sister, Carmen Baca.

He was born on January 27, 1932, in Peralta, N.M., and grew up in the farming village of Tome, N.M. Leo graduated from New Mexico State University’s Air Force ROTC program with a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology. He also earned a Master of Science degree in business administration from George Washington University. He was a distinguished graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and the National Defense College and received a Master of Business Administration degree from the Advanced Management Program for Executives at the Carnegie Mellon University. He was named a distinguished alumnus and received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from his alma mater, New Mexico State University.

He proudly served his country for 33 years as a U.S. Air Force officer before retiring as a Lieutenant General. His many decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star with V for valor for combat in Vietnam, Meritorious Service medal and Air Force Commendation medal with one oak leaf cluster. His last assignment was as Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics and Engineering, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon. He was a pilot with over 2,000 hours in single engine jet fighters. His many noteworthy achievements include the approval and implementation of the Air Force Combat Ammunitions Center known as “Ammo U” and the maintenance badge that all Air Force maintainers now wear so proudly just above the heart.

The Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez Award of Maintenance Excellence was named and is earned by civilian and military Air Force maintenance personnel in recognition of superior service. Since retirement from the Air Force, he was an executive in several engineering and aerospace companies and served the state of New Mexico on the Kirtland Partnership Committee, New Mexico Military Base Planning Commission and as a regent of both New Mexico Tech and the New Mexico Museum Board.

Atlee Dean Beckerdite (B.S. geology, 1950)

Atlee Beckerdite died December 28, 2011, in Houston.

Beckerdite was born January 9, 1926, in Larned, Kan. He was in the U.S. Army Air Force from January 1944 until May 1946 where he was a B-17 Tail Gunner with the 306th Bomb Group, 423rd Bomb Squadron stationed at Thurleigh, England; Istress, France and Weisbaden, Germany. He flew 18 combat missions and reached the rank of T/Sgt.

Mr. Beckerdite married the former Arlene Ellyson in August 1946 and they raised two children, Beverly Dell Dracos of Houston, Texas and Jay Lee Beckerdite, who passed away in 1988. He attended the Colorado School of Mines, before transferring to New Mexico Tech. He graduated from Tech in 1950 with a B.S. Degree in Geology.

His career in natural resource economics and management is well known throughout the industry. He and Arlene pursued a career path that took them to Bismarck, N.D.; Borger, Texas; St. Albans, W.V.; Denver; Glenview, Ill.; Menlo Park, Calif.; Houston; San Antonio, Texas; and Clearwater, Fla.

Dean’s work also included assignments in Europe, Australia, Africa and South America. Prior to 1979 Dean worked for several companies including Stanford Research, where he was Director of Mining, Minerals and Materials Economics; and Tesoro Petroleum, where he was a Vice President and President of their mineral producing subsidiaries.

In 1979 Dean and Arlene formed their own mine management consulting company, ADB Inc., which they operated and managed until his retirement in 1997. Their clients included “Big Eight” accounting firms, major utilities, investment bankers and other less specialized management consulting firms.

He was the author of numerous published articles and professional papers related to mineral resources economics and management. Dean was a member of the AIME and VFW. He is survived by his loving wife, Arlene Beckerdite; daughter Beverly Dracos and husband Steve; granddaughter Ellen Lesch; grandsons Thomas Dracos and wife Jennifer and Marcus Dracos and wife Melisa; sister Arlene Waite; and four great-grandchildren. Funeral services were at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6, 2012, in the chapel of Klein Funeral Home in Houston. For those wishing, donations could be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation