Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering


Gordon L. Ross ’44 Th’44 Th’47 died on April 4, 2019, in Fort Myers, Fla., surrounded by his family. At Dartmouth he was active in the Dartmouth Outing Club, Dartmouth Society of Engineers, Foley House, Glee Club, Handel Society, and the Marching Band. After earning his bachelor’s in civil engineering in 1944, Gordon enlisted in the Navy and served with the Seabees on Guam during WW II. He returned to Hanover to earn his degrees in civil and mechanical engineering from Thayer and then moved to Canton, Ohio, to begin a 39-year career with the Timken Co. engineering department. Gordon was predeceased by his first wife, Elodie, with whom he had Alan, Christopher ’71, Laurel, and Peter, who survive him. In 1982 he married Darla, who survives him along with her two children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

John B. Helsell ’46 Th’50—a longtime resident of Orcas Island, Wash.—died on May 16, 2018. His Dartmouth studies were interrupted when he enlisted in the 10th Mountain Division and then served as an infantryman in Europe until the end of the war. After graduation, Jack took a job as an engineer at Pacific Car and Foundry in Seattle and married Jan McKillop. In 1967 Jack and Jan began a new career as camp directors, developing Camp Nor’Wester on Lopez Island, Wash. They eventually moved to a piece of undeveloped family property on nearby Orcas Island, where he built a sawmill and then a barn, house, and workshops from timber logged on the land. Lumber from Jack’s West Sound Lumber Co. has since been used to build bridges, parks, marinas, and homes across the county. He is survived by Jan, brother Robert ’59 Tu’60 Th’60, and children Mary Jane, Susan, and Ellen and their families.

Louis F. Blaisdell ’47 Th’48 of Isle au Haut, Maine, died January 14, 2019. “Bud” enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1941 and then came to Dartmouth through the V-12 program. He earned his BS with Phi Beta Kappa honors and then a degree in civil engineering in 1948 before beginning a successful career in structural engineering. He met Anne Palmer in March of 1944 and they enjoyed 65 years together. Bud was skilled with pencil, brush, color, canvas, and oar at an early age, painting scenes along the shore of the East River and rowing his boat many miles. Bud lived by the water for most of his life, teaching his family to swim, row, build, and sail small boats. He is survived by son John and his partner, Paula; son Robert; daughter Theresa; five grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren. Bud was predeceased by Anne, daughter Anne, and sons Louis Jr. and Frank.

James Smith Rudolph ’47 Th’48 died in Sarasota, Fla., on April 15, 2019. Jim enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17 and came to Dartmouth as part of the V-12 program. He earned his AB in engineering sciences and then a doctorate in literature from the Sorbonne in Paris. He and his wife of 47 years, Adrienne, were art dealers and cofounders of Centicore Arts International in Ann Arbor, Mich., and traveled the world. Jim collected Renaissance musical instruments, 18th-century French furniture, contemporary art, vintage wines, and kitchen gadgets. He is survived by Adrienne; her children, Gabrielle and Adam; and his sister, Barbara, and her children, Amy, Stephen, and Eric.

Raymond F. Richard ’48 Tu’54 Th’54 of Lebanon, N.H., died at home on April 21, 2019. Ray served in the U.S. Army Air Corps and in the Navy’s Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean as a lieutenant, j.g. He returned to the States to marry Gloria Sepp in June 1952. After graduating from the Tuck-Thayer program in 1954, Ray began a long and varied career in industrial management, starting at General Electric in 1948. His work took him to the United Kingdom, where his management of the Cummins Engine Co. plant at Darlington earned it the Queen’s Award for Industry in 1966. After Ray’s retirement in 1996, he and Gloria moved to Thetford, Vt., where Ray began a second career as a consultant. He was predeceased by Gloria in 2017. Ray is survived by three sons and their wives, Bruce ’76 and Loretta, Dave and Kathy, and Dean and Christine; and grandchildren Jonah, Katie, and Sophie.

John T. Avery ’50 Th’51 passed away on February 6, 2019. Jack was born and lived most of his life around Cleveland, Ohio. Jack served a year in the U.S. Navy before attending Dartmouth, where he earned his AB in engineering sciences and his degree in mechanical engineering. In 1952 he joined his father at Avery Engineering and taught Dale Carnegie courses. Jack started Keltner Sales in 1997. He was a Scoutmaster from 1969 to 1974, mayor of Pepper Pike from 1976 to 1991, and a member of the local country club for 70 years. Jack is survived by his wife of 65 years, Joan; son Tom and his wife, Mary; son Bill and his wife, Martha; daughter Ann and her husband, Greg; and grandchildren John, Melissa, Molly, Maggie, Bill Jr., Nick, and Ben.

Robert D. Shannon ’51 Th’52 passed away on July 25, 2019, at Edgehill Retirement Community in Stamford, Conn. The longtime Connecticut resident attended Bridgeport Central High School, where he excelled at baseball and basketball, sports he continued to pursue at Dartmouth. After earning his degree in mechanical engineering at Thayer School, Bob returned to Bridgeport and began a long career as a civil engineer with the Clark Construction Co., rising to become its vice president. Bob was held in high esteem for his integrity, honesty, and work ethic by his co-workers, clients, and the many public officials with whom he worked. Bob and his wife, Joan, raised four daughters in Easton, Conn. She predeceased him in 2011. He is survived by daughters Cindy ’76, Jo Ann ’85, Nancy, and Linda; 10 grandchildren, including Luke ’07 and Mark ’11; and two great-grandsons.

Douglas H. Keare ’56 Tu’57 Th’57 died on January 8, 2019. He completed the Tuck/Thayer program in business and engineering and went on to earn a PhD in economics at Princeton. He and his wife, Ginger, were married in 1959 and traveled around the world. He spent much of his career in international development, first with the Ford Foundation in Malaysia and then the World Bank in Bangladesh in 1970. In 1971 Doug and Ginger moved to Washington, D.C., where they raised their three children. He then worked with the Harvard Institute for International Development and the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy in Boston. He is survived by Ginger; daughter Heather ’84 and her husband, Chris; son Doug ’86 and his wife, Jill; daughter Stacey and her husband, John; and grandchildren Drew, Lauren ’17, Carter, Lindsay ’16, Brian ’18, Jeff, Haley, Ryan, and Brooke.

Peter Christian Foltz ’59 Th’59 of Hershey, Pa., died on November 6, 2018. At Dartmouth he received his degree in engineering sciences, participated in the Marching Band for four years, and was a member of Chi Phi. He was in Navy ROTC and upon graduation spent three years of active duty on destroyers. He then began a long career as a mathematics teacher, first in public schools in Norfolk, Virginia, and then for about 35 years at Hershey Junior College and Harrisburg Area Community College. He earned a master’s in mathematics from Rutgers and served as founder and first president of the Pennsylvania Mathematics Association of Two-year Colleges. He continued his Navy career in the reserves, specializing in aeronautical engineering, and retired as a captain. He is survived by Patricia, his wife of 59 years; son Michael and his wife, Jodi; son David; daughter Susan; and grandchildren Steven, Kathryn, Lauren, Amanda, and Elizabeth. 

H. Gordon Starkey Jr. ’60 Th’61 of New London, N.H., passed away from esophageal cancer on July 13, 2019. A graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, Gordon graduated from Thayer with a degree in civil engineering and began his career at Hazen & Sawyer Consulting Engineers, where he eventually retired as a partner. There he was a water resources, potable water treatment, and water storage and transmission specialist. His contributions were focused on New York City although he also had projects in Sao Paolo, Brazil; Danville, Va.; and Johnson City, N.Y. He had a major role on the benchmark North East Water Supply Study for the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Gordon and his wife of 46 years, Marcella, resided in New Canaan, Conn., for 20 years before retiring to New London. Gordon is survived by Marcella and children Megan and Andrew and their families.

Loren A. Jacobson ’60 Th’61 of Santa Fe, N.M., passed away on December 26, 2018, following an extended battle with cancer. He attended Dartmouth and the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a degree in ceramics engineering in 1962. As a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force he worked as a ceramics engineer at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. He returned to Berkeley to earn a PhD in metallurgical engineering in 1968. His career highlights included work at the Wright Patterson Aerospace Research Laboratory, where he analyzed Russian military hardware and patented an alloy of gold, tin, and silicon for brazing electronic components; the Air Force Office of Scientific Research at the Pentagon; and the Lawrence Livermore National Lab. He is survived by his wife, Linda, daughter Barbara ’83, sister Margaret, grandson Nathan, niece Megan, nephew Mark, and former wife Joanne.

Brian Forrest Walsh ’65 Th’66 died unexpectedly on July 3, 2018, during a bicycle ride along the New Hampshire seacoast. At Dartmouth he was named an All-American lacrosse goalie. He earned his BE at Thayer and his MS at Columbia. Brian was the founder and original CEO of three technology startups: Creare Innovations; Creonics, a robotics company; and Spectra Inc., an ink-jet printer technology company now known as FujiFilm Dimatix. He served the town of Hanover for 15 years on the board of selectmen, where he led efforts to relocate the middle school, helped transition Mary Hitchcock Hospital to its current Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center location, and created a rowing dock at Wilson’s Landing to accommodate local crew teams. He is survived by his wife, Linda, and children Leila, Michael, Amy, Emily, and Gretchen and their families, including grandchildren Anderson, Wyatt, Morgan, Carter, Nelson, Alice, and James.

Categories: Alumni News, Obituaries

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