Donald Gutierrez, a dedicated member of HSNM and frequent contributor to the HSNM Newsletter, died on October 29, 2013 at the age of 81. Born March 10, 1932, in Oakland, Calif., to Alicia Ruiz Chamorro and J. Salvador Gutierrez, he lived most of his young life in San Francisco and the Bay Area. He received his B.A. in English Literature and M.L.S. at UC Berkeley in 1958. While there he met and soon married artist Marlene Zander. After a stint on the East Coast, where Don applied his librarian skills at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Library and later with Grosset and Dunlap publishers, the couple returned to California. Don earned his PhD from UCLA in 1964 and soon accepted a teaching position at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.
The family, which by then also included two sons, moved to New Mexico for Don’s new assignment as professor of English Literature at Western New Mexico University. Despite the demanding teaching loads, Don persevered in his creative drives, sustaining a brilliant career as a poet, literary critic, and essayist. After retiring to Albuquerque, he also emerged as a deeply committed champion of humanitarian causes and social justice, evidenced in his vast contributions in books, essays, articles, book reviews, papers translated into Spanish, lectures, public readings, and participation in many public protests. Don ultimately wrote seven books. The most recent, Feeling the Unthinkable: Essays on Social Justice, won the Political book category in the New Mexico-Arizona 2013 Book Awards. Don was an inspiring and compassionate man who will be sorely missed by his family and his many friends and colleagues, but his rich legacy endures. (with thanks to Lolita Gutierrez Brockington)
Sidney Stone, a devoted humanist and HSNM member, died on July 9, 2011, at the age of 89. Sidney was born in Syracuse, NY. He built his first telescope at age 11, grinding his own mirrors. While studying Astrophysics at Cal Tech, he became friends with well-known astronomer Edwin P. Hubble, who helped place him as a ballistician and optical physicist at the Ballistic Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD from 1944-1950. During this time he pioneered the early optical tracking instrumentation at White Sands Proving Grounds, NM. After the war, he attended the University of California at Berkeley, earning his BS, MS, and PhD in Astrophysics. While at UC Berkeley, he met Marcia McClain, whom he married in 1951.
In 1957, Sidney accepted a position at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in Los Alamos, NM, where he participated in nuclear weapons testing experiments at the Nevada Test Site and the Pacific Proving Grounds at Johnston Island. He also participated in airborne solar eclipse expeditions in the Pacific in 1965 and North Central Africa in 1973, and he participated in rocket-borne X-ray astronomy experiments at White Sands Missile Range in 1982. He was a member of NM Governor’s Scientific Advisory Committee from 1962-1967, as well as a founding member of the Los Alamos Committee on Arms Control and International Security. One of his last projects was lost aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986. While living in Los Alamos, he and Marcia became charter members of the Unitarian Church there.
Sidney was an active folk dancer, skier, and tennis player, often winning the #1 ranking in New Mexico for his age group. Sidney retired from the Los Alamos Laboratory in 1985, and he and Marcia moved to Albuquerque in 1990, where they were active in many organizations, including Oasis, Friendly Philosophers, Humanist Society of New Mexico, Rio Grande Jazz Society, Albuquerque Little Theatre, New Mexicans for Science and Reason, and the Albuquerque Astronomical Society. They were both honored as Humanists of the Year in New Mexico in 1995.
Marcia McClain Stone died on June 4, 2009, at the age of 89. She was born in Hood River, Oregon, and was a very active teenager, achieving two goals she had set for herself before she turned 20 – to swim across the mile-wide Columbia River and to climb Mt. Hood. Marcia attended Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Biochemistry. She did research on cholesterol and was honored with membership in the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society.
Marcia married Sidney Stone at Berkeley in 1951. They moved to Los Alamos, NM, in 1957, where Sidney worked at the National Laboratory, and she became active as a founding member of the Unitarian Church. She enjoyed playing piano and was active in international folk dancing. She was also active in the American Association of University Women, the League of Women Voters, and the Democratic Party. She was a very involved mother of her two daughters through 4H and Girl Scouts, as well as taking them on camping trips to National Parks and to Europe to experience new cultures and see many historic sights.
They moved to Albuquerque in 1990, after Sidney retired. Here Marcia enjoyed and supported the Albuquerque Civic Light Opera, Musical Theatre Southwest, the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, the Rio Grande Jazz Society, KNME TV programs, KHFM classical music, and OASIS classes. Throughout her life, she supported organizations that protect the environment, support women’s reproductive rights, and that feed and clothe the disadvantaged. Marcia and Sidney supported the Humanist Society of New Mexico and the Friendly Philosophers, often hosting meetings of HSNM in their home.
Adela Amador, the woman who gave her name to Amador Publishers, died on May 25, 2012, one month short of her 90th birthday. She was co-founder of Amador Publishers as well as an author and longtime contributor to New Mexico Magazine. Her work includes recipe books and a collection of stories told in her distinctive native New Mexican voice.
Adela was reared in Placitas, NM. During the 1960s she moved to Albuquerque. She first worked at J.C. Penney Company and later opened her own drapery shop, Draperies by Adela, in 1980. At age 47 Adela decided she wanted to go back to school and she attended the University of New Mexico. At 52 she received her degree in Spanish Literature and a minor in Philosophy. While in college she began writing cuentos (folk tales) for an assignment, and some were published in anthologies at UNM. This, combined with the encouragement of her husband Harry Willson (1932-2010), convinced her she was a writer. She began work on a cookbook that would become Amador Publishers’ most popular title and would help sustain the company.
Harry Willson, parent, husband, former Presbyterian minister, author, philosopher, peace and environmental activist, and Humanist – died on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at the age of 77. He had been hospitalized for several months following cancer surgery. Harry was founder of Amador Publishers with his wife, Adela. He was a prolific writer of fiction, satire, social commentary and philosophy.
Harry had a B.A. in chemistry and math, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Pennsylvania’s Lafayette University, and he had a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. In 1965 Harry answered the call from Dr. Martin Luther King for clergy to go to Selma, Alabama to assist in voter registration and demonstrations against police brutality. After quitting the clergy, Harry taught the Bible as history for ten years at the Albuquerque Academy and at Sandia Preparatory School. Harry was opposed to radioactive dumping in New Mexico and published an anti-nuclear manifesto. Harry and Adela joined the Humanist Society of New Mexico in 2002, and Harry served as Vice-President and Program Chairman for two years.