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Obituaries: Spring 2023

May 20, 2023   |   Dartmouth Engineer

Remembering our Dartmouth Engineering alumni and friends.


Irenee du Pont Jr. '42 died January 16, 2023, at the age of 103. The engineering major attended Dartmouth for two years before transferring to MIT, where he earned his BS in 1943. During World War II, he was employed as a test engineer at Ranger Aircraft Engines Co., a division of Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corp. In 1946, du Pont was hired into the DuPont Co., where his father, two grandfathers, three great-grandfathers, and two great-great-grandfathers had served in management. In Wilmington, Del., since 1953, he worked in mid-management of plastics, film, and employee relations departments; served as senior vice president and member of the executive committee; and retired from DuPont's board of directors in 1990. Du Pont served on the boards of directors of the Wilmington Trust Co., the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, and Americans for the Competitive Enterprise System. He is survived by four children and their families.

William Brown Jr. '53 Th'54—contractor, businessman, and community volunteer—passed away February 17, 2022. Brown grew up in Yosemite National Park and worked on the Yosemite trail crew during high school and college, where he developed a taste for taste for construction and building bridges. At Dartmouth he was active in the Outing Club, Green Key, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon. After earning his degrees in Hanover, he went on to receive an MS in civil engineering at Stanford in 1955. A stint in the Navy "Seabees" construction battalion in the Philippines led to a lifelong career in construction management. Brown built signature projects and resorts in California, Hawaii, and Hong Kong before retiring to Park City, Utah, and then Port Townsend, Wash. He was predeceased by his wife of 64 years, Joyce. He is survived by sons Alan, Chris, and Andy and their families.

Harlan "Buzz" Fair '53 Th'54 died on November 20, 2022, at Kendal at Hanover. At Dartmouth, he earned his AB and a master's in civil engineering and was involved in Dartmouth Outing Club, ski patrol, and Alpha Theta. After graduation, he joined the Navy Civil Engineer Corps and served as maintenance officer at Newfoundland Naval Air Station. Following three years of active duty, he continued in the naval reserves for 36 years, retiring as a captain. Fair went on to various management positions in construction—including with Thompson Starrett, where he was project engineer on the observation towers for the New York State Exhibit at the 1964 World's Fair—before founding H. Fair Associates in 1978. He served Thayer as president of the Dartmouth Society of Engineers and earned the Sylvanus Thayer Award in 2013. Fair was predeceased by his first wife, Anne. He is survived by his wife, Granthia, children, Michael, Nancy, and Greg; and eight grandchildren.

Ralph Thomas Unkefer Jr. '53 Th'54 died at his home in Haverford, Pa., on December 10, 2022. At Dartmouth, he earned an AB and a master's in civil engineering before joining the Navy and serving as a lieutenant in the Construction Battalion. He then earned an MBA at Harvard Business School and went to work with his father at Unkefer Brothers Construction Co. in Philadelphia, becoming president. Under his leadership, Unkefer Brothers grew into one of the city's outstanding general building contractors. The firm's projects included restorations of Smith Memorial Playhouse, the German Society Library, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the University of Pennsylvania's College Hall. In 2011, Unkefer Brothers received the Philadelphia Preservation Alliances Board of Directors Award for Exceptional Contributions to Historic Preservation. He is survived by his wife, Jane; children Charles, James, and Emily; son-in-law Dan; and five grandchildren.

Clifton C. Smith '62 Th'64 of Stow, Mass., died January 21, 2023, of mantle cell lymphoma. After graduating from Great Neck North (New York) High School in 1958, Smith earned a General Motors National Scholarship and matriculated at Dartmouth. There, he earned his AB in engineering sciences and his degree from the Tuck-Thayer program while a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. Smith married Dyane married in 1964 and eventually settled in Stow, where he worked as a business manager at defense contractor Itek, solar energy entrepreneur with Daystar, founding partner of venture capital fund Aegis, and professor of entrepreneurism at Boston University’s business school. He also served on the boards of the Randall Library, Appalachian Mountain Club, and Stow Conservation Trust. Smith is survived by Dyane; son Eric '91 his wife, Mary; son Bryan and his wife, Beth; brother Arthur '55; and five grandchildren.

Lyman Bruce Coffey '63 died on October 11, 2022. At Dartmouth, Coffey earned his AB in engineering sciences and was a member of Bones Gates. After graduation, he joined the Navy and served on destroyers for three and a half years before receiving his MBA from UCLA in 1968. He joined Cresap McCormick, followed by Citibank, before joining father Keating '33 in his law company, Presto Food Products, later becoming president and CEO. Coffey was instrumental in the growth of the company and supervised the building of a new plant in City of Industry, Calif. Bruce enjoyed sailing from his family's house on Orcas Island in Washington State, helped found the Orcas Island Foundation, and was a longtime board member of Four Winds Camp on Orcas. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Marty; children Bruce '86, Keating '88, Gina, and Celeste; and 10 grandchildren, including Kamiar '16 and Kayvon '17.

Steven J. Hudak '65 Th'68 died on September 24, 2022, in Midlothian, Va. At Dartmouth, he earned his AB in engineering sciences and bachelor's in civil engineering, was treasurer of Alpha Chi Alpha, active in the Newman Club, member of Air Force ROTC, and played defensive tackle on the undefeated 1962 football team. After graduation, Hudak served in the Air Force in Okinawa and Vietnam. Following his discharge, he embarked on a more-than-30-year career with the US Army Corps of Engineers, beginning in Chicago. After 10 years there he transferred to Corps headquarters in Washington, DC, where he was heavily involved in the long-range management and budgeting of several major civil works construction projects. He ably participated in congressional oversight of the US Army Corps of Engineers. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Maryanne, his wife of 57 years, and children Laura, Melissa, and Steven.

Steven B. Franzeim '68 Th'72 of Harvard, Mass., died January 18, 2023, from a stroke. He grew up in Pittsfield, NH, and at Dartmouth was a brother of Psi Upsilon and competed on the men’s soccer team, a sport that he continued to play into his 60s and coached with his children's teams. After earning his AB and BE in engineering, Franzeim spent most of his career working as a software engineer. Franzeim valued the friendships he made in high school, at Dartmouth, at summer vacations at Kennebunkport, Maine, and in Jackson Hole, Wyo. He joked that his season pass, earned from employment at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, was the accomplishment his Dartmouth fraternity brothers would most admire. His wife of 40-plus years, Christine, predeceased him in 2014. He is survived by children Paul and Emma and their families.

Chris Bustard '10 Th'11 Th'14 died on December 29, 2022, after being hit by a car in Sarasota, Fla., where he grew up. He was 34. At Dartmouth, Bustard participated in the music foreign study program in London and Dartmouth Outing Club's Woodsmen's Team and Trail Crew, a member of the crew team and Dartmouth Wind Ensemble, and a brother of Alpha Chi Alpha. He earned his AB and BE degrees in engineering and an MEM in 2014 before beginning a career in digital healthcare. He served Dartmouth Engineering as a member of the Dean's Council, 2015–18. Bustard married Kate Lyon '05 in Hanover in 2017. They moved back to the Upper Valley after the birth of their son, Theodore ("Teddy"), in April 2021. Bustard was known for his mental and physical toughness. He finished nine 100-mile ultramarathons, including the 220-mile Tor Des Geants in northern Italy. He is survived by Kate and Teddy and his parents, David '68 and Elaine.

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