Richard Kenneth Van Vleet

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By The Staff

VAN VLEET – Richard Kenneth Van Vleet, 90, of Tyrone, passed away Sunday, May 11, 2008, at Gila Regional Medical Center. He was born Aug. 7, 1917, on a wheat farm near Pretty Prairie, Kan., to Ora and Velma Van Vleet. Mr. Van Vleet is survived by his current wife, Barbara; one son, Loy of Edwards, Colo.; one daughter, Alice Bair of Las Vegas, Nev.; two granddaughters; two grandsons; and seven great-grandchildren.

He graduated from Langdon High School in 1936 and attended McPherson College for three years. He worked for Boeing Airplane Co. in Wichita, Kan., for four and a half years. He moved his family to Springer, N.M., where he worked on a dude ranch and in construction near Philmont Boy Scout Camp.

Mr. Van Vleet was employed as a machinist by the Los Alamos National Lab in 1945. He lived there until his retirement 35 years later. He volunteered as an auxiliary policeman and served as a municipal judge for 17 years in Los Alamos. He officiated sports for 38 years and was inducted into the New Mexico High School Officials Association in 1988. He was a charter member of Pajarito Masonic Lodge No. 66 in Los Alamos and a member of Santa Rita Lodge No. 44. He served as worshipful master in both lodges. Mr. Van Vleet was worthy patron of the New Mexico Grand Chapter in 1960-61 for the “Round the World” session.

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