- Marc Sagan, a leader and innovator in the field of interpretive planning for parks and historic sites, died at his home in Loudoun County, Virginia, on May 24, 2017, at the age of 88.Marc’s career flourished under the NPS’s 10-year program, Mission 66, which aimed to dramatically expand visitor services by 1966, the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the NPS. Marc was one of a generation of innovators in the field of interpretation who transformed the national park visitor experience. More about Marc Sagan can be found here.
- Dale Engquist died on June 4, 2017. Engquist worked for the National Park Service for more than 42 years by the time he retired in 2007. Of those four decades, Engquist spent 24 years at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, beginning as the assistant superintendent in 1978, and then moving into the superintendent’s role in 1983. More about Dale Engquist can be found here.
- John Frank Luzader of Bridgeport, West Virginia died on November 16, 2016.
Mr. Luzader was born on February 19, 1922 in Barbour County, West Virginia to Carey Frank and Reverend Lois Ruth (Radabaugh) Luzader. Enlisting in 1942 John served in the European Theatre of the War seeing action at Normandy on June 6, 1944 through France and into the Hurtgen Forest where he was wounded in the fall of 1944. He was sent home and married his wife Doris Jean (Bolyard) Luzader on January 9th., 1945.
In the early 1950’s he was hired by the United States National Park Service. From 1953 through 1984 he served as a Field Historian at Saratoga National Battlefield, Schuylerville, New York, an Adjunct Professor of History at State University of New York, a Field Historian for the C&O Canal at Hagerstown, Maryland, Research and Planning Curator for the, Branch of Museums, Springfield, Virginia, Staff Historian of the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods, Washington, D.C., Chief of the Historic Preservation Division, Washington, D.C, and Denver, Colorado, finishing his National Park Service career as Bureau Historian in the Denver Service Center in 1984. His leadership and supervision oversaw the rejuvenation of numerous parks and established criteria and quality still utilized in the NPS. From the mid 1960’s through 1984 there are few NPS historic sites that did not have his teams working on them. While working as the NPS Staff Historian he was the author of numerous mono-graphic history and historic structure studies as well as many booklets and books. These include Construction and Military History of Ft. Stanwix in 1969 and, Decision on the Hudson; 2002. Augmenting these works were numerous magazine articles and lectures throughout New York, Maryland, Virginia, Colorado and West Virginia.
In 2009, at the age of 86, Mr. Luzader had published the book Saratoga: A Military History of the Decisive Campaign of the American Revolution, a book that received critical acclaim as one of the finest resources on the battle of Saratoga and was described as one of the preeminent treatments of battle descriptions of the American Revolution. Mr. Luzader was also the recipient of various honors including the Combat Infantry Badge, a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and a Silver Star. In 1970 he was assigned as a special researcher for the National Park Service on the American Revolution, spending a year researching and coordinating materials in England, France and Germany while preparing for the National Park Service’s programming for the Bicentennial of the American Revolution and receiving an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Oxford in England.
- Frank Hays, associate regional director for natural and cultural resource stewardship and science in the NPS Northeast Region, died on Friday, March 3, 2017. “Friends and colleagues from across the Service know Frank was dedicated, kind and truly cared for the people who worked alongside him,” stated Acting Regional Director Joshua Laird in an email to NPS staff. “As a manager, he modeled a transparent and collaborative work ethic and encouraged his team to work together towards an integrated resource stewardship vision… Frank exemplified that passion we all feel.”
Frank’s career brought him from Hawaii to the Arctic to the Northeast Regional Office in Philadelphia. After serving several months as acting ARD, he was chosen for the position in August 2015. Prior to moving to Philadelphia, Frank served as superintendent for Western Arctic National Parklands (WEAR) in Alaska. There, he responded to increasing threats from oil and other environmental spills and helped to mediate potential conflicts between native subsistence users and sports hunters. He also helped to facilitate local tribal consultation, to resolve Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act issues and to coordinate wildlife management efforts with state and local agencies. Frank also served as the Pacific Area director for the Pacific West Region and as acting superintendent at World War II Valor in the Pacific National Memorial, which includes the USS Arizona Memorial. His work as Pacific Area director earned him a Meritorious Service Award. Before that, Hays served as the superintendent of Manzanar National Historic Site, hiring the new park’s first employees and developing the park’s plans and early facilities.Hays’ other NPS positions include: restoration program leader at Grand Canyon National Park; coordinator for Fundamentals National Resource Managers Course (detail); resource management specialist at Saguaro National Park; natural resource specialist at Chaco Culture National Historical Park; and numerous seasonal posts dating back to his first season at Zion in 1978.
Frank Hays Memorial Fund: https://www.gofundme.com/frank-hays-memorial-fund
- Robert (Bob) Felker passed away on February 27, 2017, in Greensburg, PA. Bob retired after a 40-year career with the NPS as a senior field landscape architect in 2011. He had been duty stationed at the Natchez Trace Parkway for 33 years of his career where he oversaw completion of the northern and southern terminus and the Jackson, MS which was completed in 2005. He worked on many other park projects throughout his career, including BLRI, SHIL, VICK, GRSM, Capitol Reef, Canyon de Chelly, Carl Sandburg, Fort Caroline, Fort Frederica, Abraham Lincoln Birthplace, GUIS, and Stones River. Condolences may be sent to Bob’s family, c/o Deborah Wilkinson-Armbrust, P. O. Box 3, Armbrust, PA 15616
- Richard (Dick) Powell passed away on Saturday, February 18, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia, after a long battle with brain cancer. He was in hospice care at the time. He will be laid to rest on Tuesday, February 21 in a private ceremony in Northern Virginia. Dick retired in September 2013 after 48 years with the NPS with stints in Death Valley NM, Lassen NP, Sequoia NP, the Intermountain (Rocky) Regional Office and WASO.
- Ivor Noël Hume passed away at 89 last Friday, February 3, 2017. Hume was one of the most famous of the historic archeologists and he “profoundly influenced the field of historical archaeology and inspired generations of students both casual and professional.” He worked at Colonial Williamsburg and Fort Raleigh National Historic Sites. More about Hume can be read by visiting this website: http://makinghistorynow.com/2017/02/a-pioneer-and-a-founder-remembering-ivor-noel-hume/
- Bill Everhart passed away peacefully in his sleep on February 4, 2017. Bill was a key player in the National Park Service during the Johnson Administration. He worked on projects in San Francisco, St. Louis, Philly, Harpers Ferry, Yellowstone and many others. Bill loved the outdoors. He grew up in Gettysburg and worked as a tour guide at the park there during the summers. Gettysburg was where he considered home. He was an avid walker despite a leg injury during World War II at the Battle of the Bulge. He walked everyday twice a day. The family will gather in Gettysburg later in April to celebrate Bill’s life. He was quite a guy to have a chat with and we feel grateful to have known him. This is a link that those of you who knew Bill will find interesting: http://www.craterlakeinstitute.com/online-library/hartzog-oral-history/about-consultant.htm
- The Bob Barbee family is holding a celebration of Bob’s life on May 20, at 2:00pm, at the Old Faithful Rec Hall, Old Faithful area, in Yellowstone National Park. All are welcome to attend. Please see the event details and travel and lodging options on the new website regarding this event: http://www.bobbarbeememorial.com/. The website has a section for friends to add memories and photos.
Ellen Croll, wife of National Park Service retiree Stuart and mother to Perry, passed away peaceful at home on January 20, 2017 at 11:05 am. Ellen had been in home hospice since January 3, 2017. She was diagnosed with Sporadic ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) in November 2016. There is no service planned at this moment, but Ellen’s family hopes for burial of the ashes at the Grand Canyon cemetery. Our condolences go out to his Stuart, Perry, and Ellen’s family and friends.
- John (Jack) O’Brien, of Cottonwood, AZ died October 2, 2016 in Scottsdale, AZ. He was born May 2, 1932 in St. Paul, MN and attended Cretin Military Academy in St. Paul and Dunwoody Industrial Institute in Minneapolis, MN. He worked for the National Park Service for 30 years in six different parks. He served in several positions, including park ranger, park interpretation and management. He retired from Grand Canyon National Park in 1990 as Chief of Interpretation relocating to Cottonwood, AZ. Among Jack’s many pursuits he particularly enjoyed family history, stamp collecting and model railroading. Jack is survived by LaVonne, his wife of 56 years, three daughters and a son. Services and burial were held at the Grand Canyon (National Park) Cemetery on Saturday, November 12, 2016 and attended by family and friends. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to your local Humane Society, animal shelter or animal welfare. More information ->
- Lester (Les or Mac) McClanahan, 89 of Custer, SD passed away on Thursday, September 8, 2016. Les was born February 10, 1927 in Lawrence, KS, served in the US Navy between 1944 and 1946, and received a BA from the University of Kansas in 1953. Les worked a number of part time and seasonal jobs with the NPS and similar agencies until he was offered a full time assignment in 1955 at Grand Collee Dam in WA. His career took him to Mount Rainier, Craters of the Moon, Yosemite, The Statue of Liberty and in 1969 to Wind Cave NP where he served as superintendent until retirement in 1983. Les was an active member of his church, served on local boards and loved to travel with his wife, Wanda. Les is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Memorial services were held on September 19, 2016 at the Custer Lutheran Fellowship Church in Custer, SD. An Educational Fund has been established in Lester’s name with the Employee and Alumni Association of the National Park Service. More information ->
- National Park Service retiree and Coalition member Alan Atchison passed away this week after a prolonged illness in Tucson, Arizona. Alan was the Chief Park Ranger at Grand Teton National Park. Our condolences go out to his wife Marcia and his family.
- Former Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Robert D. “Bob” Barbee passed away on Sunday, October 2, 2016 at home in Bozeman, MT. In 2016, the Coalition published a NPS Centennial Biography about Bob Barbee and his service, achievements, and hospitality. The NPS Centennial Biography can be found here. His full obituary can be found here. The following link is for the website for Bob’s friends to post tributes and learn about the celebration of his life to be held in May in Yellowstone, the date to be announced: link to the website.
- Rick Cook, former public affairs officer at Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks, passed away this past September weekend. In 2016, the Coalition published a NPS Centennial Biography about Rick, his service, and his immense contributions to the Park Service. The NPS Centennial Biography can be found here.
- Michael Frome passed away Sunday, September 4, 2016. Michael has been well known as an author, educator and tireless champion of America’s natural heritage. Michael has written over twenty books, and he directed a pioneering program in environmental journalism and writing at Western Washington University. Please see his last edition of his Portogram titled Portogram: The Last Page.
- John Clay passed away Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at Landsun Methodist Retirement Home in Carlsbad, NM. John retired as the Manager of the Southern Arizona Group of parks and monuments. Please see the full obituary here.
- Michael Hill passed away on May 1, 2016. Mike had a long, productive career with the National Park Service working as a park ranger at a number of places, including Channel Islands, Petrified Forest, Shenandoah, and Biscayne. He later served as a superintendent at Timpanogos Caves, Petersburg National Battlefield and Assateague Island. Please see the full obituary here.
- William E. Brown passed away May 1, 2016 in Sequim, WA. Bill made his career in the National Park Service as a historian and visionary of park values. His first job with the National Park Service as a technical editor provided an opportunity to work on many NPS publications. Bill left the National Park Service for a short period of time to work on the Black Mesa Defense and in 1971 wrote Islands of Hope, Parks and Recreation in Environmental Crisis. In 1975, he went on to a NPS assignment in Alaska, playing an important role in planning for Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. He did work in the National Petroleum Reserve and completed key historic resource studies for Gates of the Arctic and Denali National Parks.
- Tom Brown, former Associate Regional Director – Professional Service for S.E. Region passed away after a long illness. Tom’s funeral service will be April 2, 2016, 12 Noon at Mt Zion United Methodist Church, 1770 Johnson Ferry Rd, Marietta 30062.
- Doris Steenhagen, 89, on March 16. Doris worked for the National Park Service in Richmond as a secretary in the 1950’s where she met and married Robert Steenhagen, former Associate Manager of the Denver Service Center. Doris and Bob were married for over 60 years. Bob passed away in 2013. Please see the full obituary here.
- Gordon Plaisted passed away in Porterville, California from a long illness on February 4, 2016. In the early 1980’s Gordon started working for the National Park Service as a Procurement Agent for Sequoia National Park. In the early 1990’s, Gordon worked as Procurement Agent and Contracting Officer for the Southwest Regional Office of the National Park Service. Gordon then moved to Grand Canyon National Park in 1995 and accepted the Contracting Officer position at this important and busy park. His wife Velma also worked at Grand Canyon. Both Gordon and Velma retired from Grand Canyon in 2001 and moved back to Porterville in their retirement. In lieu of flowers the family is asking those, who are able to, to please make a donation made in memory of Gordon Plaisted to Porterville Adult Day Services PADS, 227 E Oak, Porterville, CA. 93257.
- Karen Conner Ballentine, age 54 of Gatlinburg, passed away Sunday, January 17, 2016. As a career employee of Great Smoky Mountains National Park she served as Education Branch Chief. In lieu of flowers, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has established a Tremont Environmental Education Center scholarship fund to help kids attend their programs. Tremont is located within the park. Contributions may be made to the Karen Ballentine Scholarship Fund, Friends of the Smokies, P.O. Box 1660, Kodak, TN 37764. More information ->
- Maurice John Zardus, a long-time resident of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, passed away on January 21, 2016, at the age of 87. Maurice joined the National Park Service and his family began an adventurous roving life in some of the country’s great national parks where he worked as a park ranger and ultimately as a biologist, beginning in Grand Teton National Park and eventually taking positions in Grand Canyon, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Great Sand Dunes National Parks. More information ->
- Ralph Webb, a Park Naturalist for 20 years, passed away January 8, 2016 in Las Cruces, NM. Ralph was born in Rock Springs, Wyoming Oct. 1931 and moved to Carlsbad, NM in 1947, graduating from Carlsbad High in 1951. He attended University of Colorado before joining the Air Force and serving for 4 years attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. He graduated from Eastern New Mexico University. After retirement from the NPS Ralph obtained a Masters Degree from New Mexico State University in Special Education and taught school in New Mexico, most recently in Alamogordo, before retiring from teaching. Cremation has taken place and condolences may be expressed at dentonwood.com, a Carlsbad funeral home.
- Clay W. James, Legendary NPS Partner Dies. Clay James was hired by Laurance S. Rockefeller to open many of the new RockResorts properties around the country. Rockefeller entrusted Clay with managing the transition of his beloved JY ranch to become a part of Grand Teton National Park. The National Park Service recognized Clay as a great partner. The NPS consulted with him on many issues and invited him repeatedly to serve on special committees representing the business interests of concession operations throughout the entire national park system. More information ->
- Allan Leaf “Al” Lovaas, (April 5, 1931 – August 9, 2015). Al Lovaas, age 84, passed away at his home in Hot Springs, SD. Al’s career as a wildlife biologist led the family to many locations, including Canada, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Alaska. He spent most of his career with the National Park Service, including 6 years at Wind Cave National Park. Al was the Regional Chief Scientist in Nebraska and later, Alaska, and authored several scientific publications. More information->
- John Parks – passed away on July 29, 2015 at his home in Santa Fe. John had been ill for the past several years. John worked for the NPS at Grand Canyon, Mount Rainier and retired from the NPS as Southwest Regional Office, Regional Engineer and Maintenance Manager.
- Dr. William J. “Bill” Lewis – Professor of Sociology, Emeritus, University of Vermont, passed away at home on July 8, 2015 – Bill spent school years in the classroom and summers as a ranger at Yellowstone National Park. As he would for more than half a century, he continued his work for the National Park Service, primarily at Yellowstone, as a ranger, naturalist, and a trainer of naturalists. His book, “Interpreting for Park Visitors,” is considered a classic and a must-read for anyone in the field of interpretation and communication. More information ->
- Dan Murphy – Dan passed away Sunday morning, June 14, 2015 in St Louis, MO of congestive heart failure. Dan joined the National Park Service in 1969 and worked in Arches National Park, Grand Canyon, Tetons, Salinas Pueblo, the Gateway Arch and the Sante Fe regional office in a variety of assignments including archeologist, park ranger, writer/editor and historian. After retirement he was the caretaker for Cunningham Ranch, a Nature Conservancy property in Cisco, Utah. More information ->
- Don Sanders Squire, 92, passed away May 12, 2015, in St. George, Utah. Don worked at Lake Mead NRA, Nevada; Yosemite NP, and Lassen NP, California; and finished his career as superintendent of Walnut Canyon National Monument outside of Flagstaff, Arizona, retiring in 1980. More Information ->
- Lloyd M. Pierson, died peacefully at home the morning of May 4, 2014; he was 94. Lloyd spent the majority of his career with the National Park Service, starting with the Service in 1948. He worked as an archeologist, ranger and finally superintendent at various monuments and parks, including Aztec, Tonto, Montezuma Castle, Chaco Canyon, Arches, Shenandoah Parkway, Desoto and Appomattox. More Information ->
- Frank J. Betts, 87, passed away in Fort Collins, Colorado on Saturday, April 11, 2015. He is survived by his wife Kathy. Frank worked for the NPS from 1952 to 1978. Most notably, Frank was a recipient of the National Park Service’s highest honor, and the very first Unit Valor Award to be given. He was one of four rangers involved in a dangerous high angle rescue on Hallett Peak, Memorial Day weekend in 1956. A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, April 17, 2015 at Windsong Estate, 2901 Saddler Blvd, Fort Collins, CO at 2:00 PM. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Frank’s name to Front Range Hospice , the Shriners Hospital for Children, or the Employee and Alumni Association for the National Park Service in care of Vessey Funeral Service. More information ->
- Dean V. Peterson, 84, passed away in Superior Montana on Sunday, March 22, 2015. Dean joined the NPS in 1959 as an electrician in Yellowstone N.P. In 1967, Dean accepted a position in Mount Rainier National Park as electrical foreman, accomplishing many improvements in the 20 years he was there. He retired in 1987. More information ->
- John Michael Kauffmann, 91, died peacefully at his Yarmouth, Maine, home on Nov. 16, 2014. He joined the National Park Service as a planner, assisting in the establishment of national parks including the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Cape Cod National Seashore. In 1972, NPS relocated John to Alaska to study areas under consideration for designation as national parks, monuments, and reserves. His work contributed to the passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, (ANILCA), permanently conserving more than 100 million acres. More information ->
- Harry Willcox Pfanz, 93, Civil War author and former chief historian for the National Park Service, died of natural causes at his home in Gaithersburg, Maryland, on January 27th.“Harry Pfanz was one of the finest historians in the National Park Service,” said Robert Sutton, current chief historian for the Service. As chief historian, he provided direction and guidance when the nation and the National Park Service celebrated the bicentennial of the American Revolution and he refined the Service’s policies and guidelines for historic preservation.In retirement, he wrote a trilogy of the Battle of Gettysburg which is considered a classic and the most detailed history of the battle. Harry passed his love of history on to his son, Donald, who served as a historian at Fredericksburg Spotsylvania National Military Park and retired last year.
- Joy Lyons, 56, of Park City, passed away Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Joy was a Park Ranger for 33 years at Mammoth Cave National Park. She was passionate about research, interpretation and preserving our rich history for future generations.
More Information ->
- Dr. Patricia Parker (April 16, 1943 – December 16 2014). Former Chief of the American Indian Liaison Office in WASO. Pat was a tireless champion for Native American cultural interests in NPS and beyond. Memorials are being planned and will be announced. In lieu of flowers or other tangible expressions of condolence, donations to the Native American Rights Fund would be welcome.
- Bill Dengler former Chief Park Naturalist at Mount Rainier National Park, died on December 8, 2014. His family said, “His first and always love was the parks.”
- Ingrid Castellina – daughter of Anne Castellina. Ingrid died November 22, 2014. Ingrid fought very hard and was an inspiration to everyone who knew her and what she was going through.
- Dwight Fay Rettie, 84, of Morehead City, NC died Sunday, September 28, 2014 at home. Mr. Rettie was a lifelong conservationist and public servant. Retiring from the National Park Service in 1986, Rettie was a 30-plus year federal employee who lived, taught, and exemplified a brand of public service no longer given prominence in American culture. His greatest public service hero was President John F. Kennedy, whom he served in the Interior Department under Secretary of the Interior, Stewart L. Udall.
More Information ->
- Tony Bacon, Wednesday, June 11, 2014 after a tough bout with cancer. A formal service is planned for June 28th at 11:00 at the Troy High School Activity Center, Troy MT. Following the service will be a “celebration” for Tony at the Majestic View Ministry about 16 miles from where the Services will be held. More information ->
- Annette Parent, April 29, 2014. Annette grew up in Pennsylvania, attended Westtown School and Swarthmore College. With her family, she toured the Western United States on summer camping trips in the 1930s and 1940s, seeing places long before the tourists of today. Annette married Hiram Parent in 1957, lived in various Arizona national parks, and raised a son and daughter. The family lived in Carlsbad Caverns National Park from 1968 until Mr. Parent retired in 1980. More information >
- Kevin Christopher Buckley, April 28, 2014. Kevin retired as General Superintendent of Gateway National Recreation Area in 1999 after 30 years of service. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers donations be made in Kevin’s name to the Rockaway Point Volunteer Fire Department, 204-26 Rockaway Point Blvd, Rockaway Point, NY 11697.
- Charles M. Hudson, April 5, 2014. Better known as Charlie to everyone he ever met, he was a Denver Service Center Architect for decades, dating from DSC’s start in the early 1970s. Personal notes and remembrances should be sent to Charlie’s wife, Connie Wanke, 2074 S. Adams Street, Denver, CO 80210.
- Greta Ann Doutre Cook, March 1, 2014. Greta worked at Shenandoah National Park, Yellowstone National Park and Olympic National Park. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, April 5, at 1 p.m. at the Port Angeles Senior Center, 328 East Seventh Street. More information >
- Paula Penney Eckiss, Former Director of the National Park Service Office of Communications – Oct. 30th, 2013. Paula retired from her position with the NPS in 1987. She remained an unapologetic proponent of the U.S. national parks for the rest of her life. More information >
- Dolores “Nicky” Webley, Retired Budget Analyst, NCR, January 3rd, 2014.
More Information >
- William Roy “Bill” Row, nicknamed “Snuffy” – Feb. 3, 2014. Bill started his career in Law Enforcement as a Ranger for the National Park Service working at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Colorado National Monument, and Badlands National Park. He retired in 2005. More information >
- Donald Lewis Heilemann – February 7, 2014. Mr. Heilemann was the Audio Visual Director for the National Park Service’s National Capital Region from 1972 until his 1991 retirement. Mr. Heilemann covered many historical events, including the 1976 National Bicentennial celebration, presidential inaugurations, US visit of Pope John Paul II, Washington Summit with Mikhail Gorbachev and President Reagan, presidential events and special events in national parks. More information >
This page last modified:June 16, 2017 @ 5:04 pm