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Obituaries: Fall 2021

Dec 01, 2021   |   Dartmouth Engineer

Lawrence Baron Goodman ’47 Th’47 died on August 4, 2021, in Greenwich, Conn. Larry came to Dartmouth as a member of the V-12 naval officer training program. In Hanover he ran track, co-founded the aviation club, played soccer, and was a brother of Pi Lambda Phi. He graduated as a civilian with a commission as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve and joined his father in the family hosiery business. He spent his entire career in associated businesses, founding the Ormond Shops, a retailer of women’s clothing that he served as chair until his retirement in 1995. He was predeceased by his first wife, Claire, and endowed a fund for anthropological research at Dartmouth in her honor. He is survived by his wife, Sachiko, and children Shuli, Frank ’82, and Emily ’84, and stepdaughter Teru ’95 and their families.

Robert A. Closser Jr. ’51 Tu’52 Th’52 died on March 17, 2021. At Dartmouth he earned his AB in engineering and was active in the Canoe Club, Dartmouth Outing Club, Tabard, and the track team. During the Korean War he served in the U.S. Coast Guard as a deck officer and became a lieutenant commander. His entire career from working in the plant to upper management was with Sherwood Solvents and later Union Oil of California. Upon retirement he was active in the travel business for 27 years. He was an Eagle Scout and later a scout leader, a Sigma Chi, a director of Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas City, Mo., and a member of the Vanguard Club. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Ann, and children Robert, David, and Mary Ann and their families.

Samuel H. Daniell ’52 Tu’53 Th’53 passed away January 22, 2021, due to complications related to COVID-19. Sam earned his AB in engineering sciences and then master’s degrees in the Tuck-Thayer program. In Hanover he was active in Alpha Theta, Casque & Gauntlet, Green Key, men’s track and cross country, and Navy ROTC. He served in the Navy as an officer for three years following his graduation. Sam spent his career as an executive with two manufacturing companies, the Bryant Chucking Grinder Co. and the Nashua Corp., from which he retired in 1994. He was predeceased by his wife, Zandra. He is survived by brothers Warren ’48 Th’50 and Jere ’55 and children Christopher ’76, Stephen ’79, Zia ’91, Brian, and Mark and their families, including 12 grandchildren.

Dorn C. McGrath Jr. ’52 died on January 25, 2021, in Washington, D.C. In 1952 he earned his AB in engineering and architecture from Dartmouth, where he was a member of Sigma Chi, Casque & Gauntlet, and the ski and baseball teams. Dorn then earned a master’s in city planning from Harvard in 1959. He served in the U.S. Navy in the Civil Engineer Corps, worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and taught for 35 years at George Washington University. He also founded the university’s center for urban and environmental research. Throughout his career Dorn worked closely with residents of area neighborhoods, the District of Columbia government, and state and federal agencies. His wife, Lee, predeceased him, and he is survived by children Dorn III and Martha.

Ralph Allen “Skip” Adams ’53 Th’54 died August 5, 2021, in his hometown of Houston, Texas. “Skip” earned his master’s at Thayer School and served two years in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, earning an honorable discharge as a first lieutenant and platoon leader. He then spent eight years in heavy construction in the Boston area. Among his major projects were dormitories at Brandeis University, the Massachusetts Turnpike extension, and the Callahan Tunnel. In 1964 he assisted in the Amistad Dam construction on the Rio Grande in Texas, a career-making project that led to stints in Houston as a civil estimator and supervisor, including with Parsons- Gilbane in petrochemical construction. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Bobbie; sons Robert, Russell, and Troy; four grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Donald W. Perkins ’53 Tu’54 Th’54 passed away on January 11, 2021, in Fairfax, Va. In Hanover he was involved in the Dartmouth Outing Club, Dartmouth Society of Engineers, Zeta Psi, and the track team. After he earned his master’s degrees in the Tuck-Thayer program, his career began at Westinghouse oceanic division, where he was involved in undersea warfare programs until 1978. Don continued at the National Academy of Sciences as the associate director of the National Academy of Sciences Marine Board. Don conducted studies relating to oil-spill dispersants, development of tanker hulls, beach erosion, and ship collisions with bridges, and he was a leader in the development of hull requirements after the Exxon Valdez spill in 1987 until he retired in 1996. He was predeceased by his wives Mary and Alice and son Colin.

Clinton R. Gaylord ’54 Tu’55 Th’55 died on May 14, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. At Dartmouth he played four years of football, was a brother of Beta Theta Pi, and graduated from the Tuck- Thayer program. Clint enrolled in the Navy’s officer candidate school and trained in explosive ordinance disposal, becoming a qualified diver and explosive expert. Upon leaving the Navy in 1958, Clint’s IBM career began in Endicott, N.Y. He moved many times for job changes and promotions, finally arriving in Boulder, Colo., where he met and married Donna and combined their two families. In 1979 he moved the family to a new IBM plant in Tucson, where he retired in 1991. Clint is survived by Donna; children Beth, Judy, Bill, and Mike and their spouses; stepchildren Kirsten and Andrea and their spouses; and 10 grandchildren.

Alan A. Staley ’54 Th’55 passed away on July 13, 2021, in Lexington, Va. Alan came to Dartmouth from Scarsdale (N.Y.) High School, where he played basketball and was co-captain of the football team. At Dartmouth he was a member of Theta Delta Chi and Dragon. After graduating from Thayer School with a master’s in electrical engineering, Alan spent most of his working life in computer systems. He worked for IBM and Sperry Rand Corp. and spent some years as an independent consultant. His career carried him and his wife, Helen, a computer software specialist for A.C. Nielsen and Grumman Aerospace, to Australia and Hong Kong. Alan and Helen both retired to Virginia after “boat bumming” in the Caribbean. He is survived by Helen.

William B. Macurdy ’55 Th’57 of Falmouth, Mass., passed away August 18, 2021. After earning his bachelor’s and master’s in electrical engineering at Thayer, Bill earned a second master’s in electrical engineering from New York University and completed his education with a PhD from MIT in 1963. He began his career as an engineer at Bell Laboratories, eventually becoming a senior executive. Bill retired as a vice president from AT&T in 1988. He was predeceased by son Allan. He is survived by children Anne and James and their spouses, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Thomas J. Harper ’56 Tu’57 Th’57 died March 28, 2021. After earning his AB and master’s at Dartmouth, where he was active in Beta Theta Pi and the baseball and football teams, Tom began a 24-year career as an officer in the Navy. Career highlights included serving on the USS Edisto ice breaker in the Arctic and Antarctic; three deployments in Vietnam, including a one-year tour in the Mekong Delta with the Riverine Forces; a five-year NATO tour in Italy doing operations analysis; as executive officer of the USS Sterrett, the first cruiser to shoot down a MIG with a Terrier missile; and as captain and commanding officer of the USS Orleck destroyer. Tom earned multiple awards for valor, including the Legion of Merit and two Bronze Stars. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Sandra, and siblings Jean and John ’57 and their families.

Jack M. Wells ’59 Th’60 died on March 16, 2021. At Dartmouth he earned an AB and MS in electrical engineering and was involved in the International Relations Club, Air Force ROTC, Zeta Psi, and the ski team. His 30- year career with the Air Force included installing the hot line to the Kremlin in the White House during the Kennedy presidency; launching spy satellites in the Atlas Agena program; working in the Minuteman and Peacekeeper nuclear missile programs; and as air attaché at the U.S. embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He finished his career as a commander of the Site Alteration Task Force at Warren Air Force Base, retiring as a full colonel. Jack is survived by his wife of 44 years, Mary Gay; sons Kenneth, Kevin, Brian, and Mark; stepchildren Elise, Tom, Steve, and Tara; 20 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Robert M. Daly ’61 Th’62 of Westford, Mass., passed away on April 19, 2021. At Dartmouth he was a brother of Sigma Chi, Interfraternity Council, and Air Force ROTC. He earned a degree in electrical engineering from Thayer and served in the Air Force. Bob began his career in Honeywell’s computer division as a logic designer and rose to become director of systems engineering and was involved in the formative stages of AI research. In 1984 Bob joined Lexi-Data Corp. as vice president of engineering and then moved to Apollo/Hewlett-Packard. He was a corporate-level program manager with HP at his retirement in 2004. He leaves his wife, Judith, children Kristen ’89 and David, their spouses, and six grandchildren.

Philip Harbison Oehler ’61 Th’62 passed away February 4, 2021. At Dartmouth Phil earned his AB in engineering sciences, was a member of Sphinx and Alpha Delta, and played football. He went on to earn an MS in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California and a J.D. from Pepperdine Law School. Phil had a 33-year career in southern California as an aerospace engineer with a large defense contractor, where he participated in several important national defense projects before retiring with his wife, Maria, to Grass Valley, Calif. In retirement Phil was an active member of the Nevada County Sportsmen Club. He is survived by Maria; children Juliet, Jeffrey, and Michael; stepsons Gabriel, Bob, Jack, and Des; and their families.

Donald C. Shropshire ’61 Tu’63 Th’63 passed away on February 26, 2021. At Dartmouth he earned an engineering AB, mechanical engineering BS, and an MBA. Outside of the classroom he was involved in Tabard and football. While in graduate school, he met and married Jean. Upon graduating Don began a 27-year career at IBM. His journey from salesman of mainframe computers to general manager of the company was marked by regular home relocations and business trips around the world. His final decade with IBM was spent as a vice president and general manager of Lexmark Corp., a printer business sold by IBM in 1990. He is survived by Jean, his wife of 55 years, and children Donald, Joseph, Charlotte ’95, and Sarah and their families.

Ralph F. Spencer Jr. ’61 Th’62 died on August 23, 2021. “Dick” entered Dartmouth as a premed and was involved in crew, the Dartmouth Outing Club, and Sigma Phi Epsilon. He shifted his focus to electrical engineering and graduated with a bachelor’s from Thayer and then a master’s and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Dick moved his family to Dallas, Texas, to start a career in the emerging computer industry. He later relocated to Massachusetts to work for Digital Equipment Corp., which was eventually acquired by Compaq and then Hewlett Packard. He then spent a few years as a consultant with Hamilton Technologies Inc. before retiring. Dick was predeceased by his second wife, Nancy. He is survived by sons Brad and Jeff, siblings Sandra and John, four grandchildren, and his first wife, Prudence.

Ephraim N. Aniebona ’64 Th’65 passed away on January 1, 2021, surrounded by family in his home country of Nigeria. He was a pioneer at Dartmouth as the first African to be enrolled in the African Scholarship Program to American Universities. Ephraim earned his bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Thayer School and then an MS and PhD at New York University. He began his career as a research engineer at Bell Laboratories. In 1976 he returned to Nigeria and became a professor, rising in 2007 to head the physical sciences department at Novena University. He published extensively in scientific journals and invented several patentable devices related to the collection and application of solar energy. He is survived by his wife, Patricia; children Anwuli, Uju, Emeka, Ikechukwu, and Ibe; and four grandchildren.

James M. Mills ’77 Th’83 died on March 4, 2021. Jim was a Strnad Fellow at University School and in Hanover earned his engineering AB and was a brother of Alpha Delta. Upon graduation he served four years in the Army. He was a valued 30-year employee of the Micro Center store in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, and was known as a thoughtful and caring individual. He is survived by siblings Margaret, Osborne Jr. ’69, and William ’72; their spouses; 10 nieces and nephews; and seven great nieces and great nephews.

Patrick K. Nutor ’90 Th’90, a longtime board member of Ashesi University, died of COVID-19 on January 11, 2021. After earning his engineering degrees at Thayer School, Patrick worked as a senior field engineer at Schlumberger Wire Line Services and then founded Accu-Computers and Accu-Works in Accra, Ghana. He was involved in the founding of Ashesi—whose mission is to educate ethical and entrepreneurial leaders in Africa—and assisted the team from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business that traveled to Ghana in 1998 to conduct a feasibility study on the university project. The Ashesi board of directors has named the university’s research building the Patrick K. Nutor Hall in honor of his service. “He was a bridge between pragmatic realism and Ashesi’s finest dreams,” said one trustee.

James C. Rourke ’95 of San Francisco, Calif., died February 2, 2021. He was involved in Alpha Chi Alpha and student workshops in Hanover and earned a bachelor’s in engineering sciences at Thayer and then an art degree from the San Francisco Academy of Art. James had a quick wit and curious mind. He was a sports enthusiast and master of trivial data and breezed through complex computer software programs. Most recently, James was a member on the staff at Mercy Housing in San Francisco, where he excelled in his responsibilities to the community. He was predeceased by his father, James. He is survived by his mother, Mary Ann; siblings Josh, Jeremy, Vanessa, and Jill and their spouses; and six nieces and nephews.

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