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The preliminary design for the memorial painting of First Lieutenant Thurston “Turk” Griffith, Jr., the namesake of the Los Alamos High School Gymnasium, will soon be given to Los Alamos Public Schools and displayed in the gym.
First Lieutenant Thurston “Turk” Griffith, Jr., was the first New Mexican to be killed in action in Vietnam on Jan. 17, 1965. Griffith Gymnasium at Los Alamos High School was soon thereafter dedicated in his memory. In May 2012, after extensive renovations of the gym were completed, there was a rededication ceremony.
At that time, LAPS Superintendent Gene Schmidt endorsed a proposal by resident Robert Wells, West Point classmate of Griffith’s and a Vietnam veteran, to undertake a memorial painting of Griffith.
After considering four regional artists over the past year, Wells commissioned Santa Fe artist Paul Milosevich.
The painting will be completed in April and an installation at Griffith Gym will be in May. Griffith’s fellow West Point classmates have contributed $8,800 toward the $15,000 project. Contributions are tax deductible.
Donations can be made to the LAPS Foundation, 1900 Diamond Drive, Suite 1, Los Alamos, N.M. 87544 with Griffith on the memo line, or via the Foundation’s website at lapsfoundation.com.