In Memoriam | Spring 2013

Mary Ann Arens

Mary Ann Arens passed away on April 24, 2013, at her home in Mesilla Park. Born on April 23, 1945, to Harry and Dagne Altman in Burbank, Calif., she grew up in Silver Spring, Md., where she met and married William H. Arens Jr. in 1965. Arens received her bachelor’s from the University of Maryland in 1972, and earned a master’s from New Mexico State University in 1974. Her career began at S.W. Mental Health Center in Las Cruces where she developed the Day Treatment Program. She also worked for La Casa and New Vistas DVR, followed by about 10 years as director of Student Support Services at NMSU. One of her most interesting jobs was working as a Forest Ranger and living in a lookout tower in the Gila Mountains. She was a partner in Blue Sky Enterprises, which renovated old homes in the Las Cruces area, and a long-time member of the Potters’ Guild of Las Cruces and Hospice volunteer. She was also an avid gardener and enjoyed swimming.

Rev. Fr. George T. Brunish, 72, of New Castle, Pa., passed away on the morning of July 2, 2012, in Jameson Hospital North. Born December 24, 1939, in Syracuse, N.Y., Father Brunish was the son of the late George A. and Florence (Hancock) Brunish. Father Brunish married the former Frances L. Cook, and they were married for 52 years. She survives in New Castle. Fr. Brunish retired as clergy from St. Elias Orthodox Church, and worked as a professor for 24 years at Westminster College, in the math and computer science departments. Fr. Brunish graduated from Smithtech High School and received his bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Clarkson College. He later earned his master’s in mathematics from New Mexico State University.

Ronald H. Lewis

Ronald H. Lewis, 68, of Cotuit, Mass., a former resident of Hopkinton, Mass., passed away at home on Aug. 8, 2012 from pancreatic cancer. The son of the late Harold and Jeanette Lewis, he was born on Sept. 17, 1943 in Cleveland, Ohio. Ron graduated from Solon High School, Ohio in 1961. He received a bachelor’s in chemistry at Ohio State University in 1966 and earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from New Mexico State University in 1971. Ron began his career teaching chemistry at State University of New York at Morrisville. He discovered a love of business through his work at Medtronic, American Pacemaker, Haemonetics and TPN Pharmacy. He was the President of Cytosol Laboratories in Braintree, Mass., for 27 years. He purchased the company in 1984 and dedicated his career to its success. He led the company through many challenges and drove Cytosol to be recognized as the leader in the citrate based anticoagulation market.

(Norma) Lee Richards, 80, passed away peacefully surrounded by friends and family on Feb. 14, 2013 at home in Mandeville, La. Self-described as “a Kansas hick who happened to get educated,” she left her Colby, Kan. home for college at age 18, earning a bachelor’s from Emporia State in 1954 and a master’s in sculpture from New Mexico State University in 1968. Richards earned a doctorate in art education at the University of Kansas in 1972. She was one of the first women innovators in the fields of metal work and teaching. From her first high school teaching job in 1954 until her retirement in 1990, Richards dedicated 38 years to her students. Nothing pleased her more than seeing students succeed. She taught metal arts and art education for 15 years and was head of the music department at NMSU for five years.

Jane Rachel Gill Tombes

Jane Rachel Gill Tombes, of Midlothian Va., passed away on August 7, 2012, at VCU Medical Center. Daughter of the late, Everett Gill Jr. and Rachel Truex Gill, she is survived by her husband of 55 years, Averett Snead Tombes. A graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School and Westhampton College, she received a master’s from Clemson University and a Ph.D. from New Mexico State University. She taught English and directed plays in the high school and college levels in Richmond and Anderson, S.C., as well as Fairfax Va. She helped to found the Clemson Children’s Theatre and was assistant director of the Wichita Children’s Theatre. She also worked as assistant director of the Dona Ana Arts Council, and was vice president of the George Mason University Friends of the Center for the Arts. She co-founded a consulting firm with her husband that served the higher education community for eight years in Vienna, Va.