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Thursday was a bittersweet day in Los Alamos. It was the last official visit to the community by Sen. Pete Domenici.
For 36 years he has a been a strong supporter of Los Alamos, New Mexico and our nation. He was a friend to many and a figure of strength to many more.
Now that he is retiring after six terms in the United States Senate, we view his departure with a mix of sadness and fear.
In his retirement, Los Alamos and New Mexico is losing its best supporter and its best fighter. When we were threatened with cuts, or reductions or such, it was always Domenici who stood up and fought for us.
Now that he is leaving and we are losing that champion, we look ahead with some fear.
While this is not his obituary, some facts about him are worth knowing so we can all better know the man.
He was born May 7, 1932, in Albuquerque as Pietro Vichi Domenici, the son of Italian immigrants.
He graduated in 1950 from St. Mary’s High School in Albuquerque. After earning a degree in education at the University of New Mexico in 1954, he pitched for one season for the Albuquerque Dukes, a farm club for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
He taught mathematics at Garfield Junior High in Albuquerque and earned his law degree at the University of Denver in 1958 and returned to practice law in Albuquerque.
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