TNCAMPBE-L ArchivesArchiver > TNCAMPBE > 2004-01 > 1073523936
Subject: [TNCAMPBE-L] Obits From The Oak Ridger 7 Jan 2004
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 20:05:36 EST
>From The Oak Ridger 7 Jan 2004
Cresson Henry Kearny, 89, of Montrose, Colo.,
Melbourne "Mel" Winton of Oak Ridge
Walter C. "Jack" Brown, 85, of Oak Ridge,
Eunice E. Webster, 80, of Oak Ridge,
Ruth Elizabeth Moore, 85, of Oak Ridge,
Lisa Shultz Redmond, 36,
Samuel W. Hester, 61, of Harriman,
Bertha M. Samsel, of Oliver Springs,
Cresson Henry Kearny, 89, of Montrose, Colo., died on Thursday, Dec. 18,
2003, after several years of declining health.
According to his family, he had an interesting life that included being a
world authority on nuclear war survival, starting the first U.S. jungle troops
and originating more than two dozen inventions.
Born Jan. 7, 1914, in San Antonio, Texas, he was the son of Clinton Hall
Kearny and Mary Chabot Cresson Kearny. He was a great-grandson of Gen. Stephen
Watts Kearny, who led the American takeover of the Southwest and California in
the Mexican-American War, and a great-great-stepgrandson of Gen. William Clark
of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Mr. Kearny graduated valedictorian and cadet colonel from Texas Military
Institute in San Antonio and attended Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania. He won
two prestigious scholarships to Princeton University, where he was a varsity
letterman on the track team, graduating in 1937 Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum
laude with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. The following summer he led
a small expedition in the Sierra Madre of Mexico for the Laboratory of
Anthropology in Santa Fe, N.M.
Subsequently, Mr. Kearny was a Rhodes Scholar to Oxford University, where he
was on the varsity track and swimming teams, graduating from Queen's College
with a degree in geology in 1939. While at Oxford he briefly served as a
courier to Berlin, carrying information for an underground Quaker group that helped
Jews escape from the Nazis.
Post-graduation Mr. Kearny was a member of a Royal Geographic Society
expedition in the Peruvian Andes, then worked as an exploration geologist for
Standard Oil in Venezuela. Believing the United States soon would be at war and
hoping to improve American jungle warfare capability, in 1940 he quit his job and
went on active duty as a reserve first lieutenant. He was sent to Panama where
he formed the first U.S. Jungle Platoon, developed jungle tactics, and
designed specialized equipment. Much of his equipment, for which he obtained numerous
patents but refused payment, was adopted by the U.S. Army and used by
hundreds of thousands of American and allied servicemen during World War II. Some of
his most important inventions were a breath-inflated, backpackable boat, the
jungle boot, the jungle hammock and the jungle pack. During this period he was
promoted to major and intermittently worked with the office of the
quartermaster general's special forces in Washington, D.C. For meritorious service he was
awarded the Legion of Merit.
In 1943, Mr. Kearny married May Willacy Eskridge, also of San Antonio. He
joined the Office of Strategic Services in 1944, stationed in China where he
worked in demolitions, guerilla tactics, sabotage and intelligence. After
contracting a crippling disease at the age of 31 he retired as an honorary lieutenant
Mr. Kearny and his wife bought a ranch in the Texas hill country, where his
health improved. He occasionally worked elsewhere, including consulting at
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where in 1951 he designed the wetsuit, which
unknown to him, had been invented a few months previously. He also
independently invented and patented an underwater spear gun.
In 1954, he and his family moved to a farm in southwest Colorado. For several
years Mr. Kearny worked as an oil, gas and uranium geologist/prospector,
staking several claims, including a productive uranium claim in the last land rush
in the United States. Mr. Kearny, who his family said always loved dinosaurs,
also came upon the largest dinosaur bone discovered to that time, which was
lying unrecognized on a rockhound's porch. The bone is now at the Smithsonian.
Concerned, since his Princeton days about the possibility of nuclear war, Mr.
Kearny began to work independently on nuclear survival. In 1961, leading
nuclear strategist, Herman Kahn, recruited him to join the Hudson Institute, where
Kearny worked on nuclear defense issues. Due to his expertise, he met Charles
Lindbergh, whom Mr. Kearny advised on building a blast shelter.
In 1964, Nobel Laureate Dr. Eugene Wigner asked Mr. Kearny to join the Civil
Defense Project, which Wigner was forming at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. At
ORNL, Kearny developed shelters and devices which people can make to improve
their chances of surviving a nuclear conflict. His most important invention,
according to his family, was the Kearny Fallout Meter, a highly reliable
radiation meter made of materials commonly found in homes. His book, "Nuclear War
Survival Skills," which, according to his family, is known as "the bible of
Civil Defense," includes instructions and survival advice. By the mid-1990s over
600,000 copies had been sold, with translations into Hebrew, Chinese and other
languages. Mr. Kearny copyrighted the book with the condition that the book
could be reproduced by anyone and renounced any royalty payments. The book is
available on the Internet. He also wrote numerous publications on a variety of
Kearny took occasional leave to work on other projects. From 1967 to 1968,
given the civilian equivalent of a four-star general's rank, he worked in
Vietnam with the science adviser to Gen.s Westmoreland and Abrams, improving
infantrymen's equipment. He also developed simple measures to counteract fuel-air
explosives and was an expert on counterinsurgency. At a Defense Advance Research
Project Agency Symposium in 1968, the director stated in his opening address
that he "had not specialized in counterinsurgency work, but had studied the
writings of leading authorities, including Mao Tse-tung, Ho Chi Minh, Che
Guevara, and Cresson Kearny." In 1970, Mr. Kearney advised the Israelis on civil
defense. For his defense work, in 1972 he was awarded the Decoration for
Distinguished Civilian Service, the United States' highest civilian medal.
In 1979, Mr. Kearny retired from ORNL, partly to be at liberty to speak more
freely against American defense policies, especially Mutual Assured
Destruction, and inadequate nuclear civil defense preparations, according to his family.
In 1981, he was invited to China to advise on civil defense. During the 1991
Gulf War, he recruited citizens across America to make hundreds of thousands
of protective plastic rifle bags, which, according to his family, the military
had neglected to provide and send them to soldiers to prevent sand from
jamming their M-16s. In later years, Mr. Kearny summarized his jungle expertise in
"Jungle Snafus -- and Remedies," which is used by units of the U.S. Special
Forces as a training textbook. In 1996 he was presented with the Edward Teller
Award for the Defense of Freedom, "for his independent and ingenious
contributions to the great problem of survival."
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his younger brother
and only sibling, Clinton Charles Kearny, and his eldest grandchild, Morgan
His family said his intelligence, creativity, persistence and dedication to
human survival were appreciated by his peers and earned the admiration and love
of his family. According to his family, he lived a full and productive life,
and had a long, loving marriage and a large and close family.
Mr. Kearny is survived by his wife of 60 years, May Willacy Eskridge Kearny;
a son, Cresson Kearny and wife, Lynn Boyer Kearny; and by four daughters,
Adelia Willacy Kearny and husband, John Peter Wakeland, Diana Catherine Kearny
Fosse, Susanna Joyce Kearny and husband, Frederick Rommel Eberle, and Stephanie
Kearny and husband, Kenneth Noel Belcourt.
He is also survived by six grandchildren, Stephen Kearny Wakeland, Anna
Kearny Wakeland, Amber Eskridge Fosse, Gabriel Prins Fosse, Clay Cresson Fosse and
Elise Kearny Eberle; and by one great-grandchild, Akira Lynn Fosse Jones.
Following cremation, a private family memorial service will be in
Melbourne "Mel" Winton of Oak Ridge died Friday, Jan. 2, 2004.
His mother, Marie Winton, lived in Oak Ridge for several years prior to her
Mr. Winton was a graduate of the University of Florida and taught school for
two years in Cedar Hill, Fla., and earned money to attend Georgia Institute of
Technology, where he graduated with a degree in engineering.
He retired in 1978, but worked for a number of years as a consultant for both
Union Carbide and Science Applications Inc., now known as Science
Applications International Corp. His last work was with the Nuclear Operations Analysis
According to his family, his hobbies were astronomy, camping, gardening,
hiking and reading. He taught Sunday school classes at First United Methodist
Church for over 50 years. He worked as a volunteer for Aid to Distressed Families
of Appalachian Counties for 10 years and for the American Museum of Science
Mr. Winton is survived by his wife, Mary Louise Smith Winton; three sisters,
Dorothea Lambourne and husband, John, of Bushnell, Fla., Louise West of
Lakeland, Fla., and Alice Marie Davis and husband, Bill, of Zellwood, Fla.; a
sister-in-law, Lavada Bacon Smith, of Oak Ridge; a brother-in-law, Clarence Tilley,
of Oak Ridge; and by three aunts and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
The body was donated to the University of Tennessee at Memphis, College of
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9, 2004, at First United
The family requests that any memorials be in the form of contributions to
First United Methodist Church, 1350 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Oak Ridge, TN 37830.
The family will receive friends following the service.
Walter C. "Jack" Brown, 85, of Oak Ridge, died Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2004, at
Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge following a long illness.
Mr. Brown began his employment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on Aug. 13,
1947, and retired as a laboratory records supervisor in the information
division in January 1974. He was a veteran of World War II serving with the U.S. Army
in The European Theater. He was a member of the Benevolent and Protective
Order of Elks, Lodge No. 1684. His family said he enjoyed all sports, fishing and
Mr. Brown is survived by his wife of 60 years, Sylvia Brown; his sister,
Louise Brock Brown, of Clinton; his daughter, Brenda Brown Messer and husband,
Mike, of Gallatin; his son, Alan Brown and wife, Lisa, of Acworth, Ga.; and by
three grandchildren, Berry Michael Messer, Marcia Lynn Messer and Brent Thomas
Messer, all of the Nashville area.
A memorial service will be at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, 2004, at Martin Oak
Ridge Funeral Home.
The family will receive friends from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral
Eunice E. Webster, 80, of Oak Ridge, died Monday, Jan. 5, 2004, at the
University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.
Born Sept. 27, 1923, in Morgan County, she was the daughter of Paris G. and
Myrtle Hill Webster.
Ms. Webster was a librarian at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and retired in
1988. She was a member of First United Methodist Church, where her family said
she was very active. She attended the University of Tennessee. Her family said
she enjoyed traveling, various sports, sewing and reading.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Warren
R. Webster and Roy Eugene Webster, and by a sister, Dorothy Webster Muller.
Ms. Webster is survived by two sisters, Patricia Cunningham and husband,
Edward, of Mexia, Texas, and Ann Charamella and husband, Leigh, of East Lansing,
Mich.; four brothers, James G. Webster, William F. Webster and wife, Barbara,
and Ronald A. Webster and wife, Diane, all of Knoxville, and John K. Webster of
Hamilton, Ohio; and by several nieces, nephews, family and friends.
The funeral will be at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9, 2004, in the chapel of Martin
Oak Ridge Funeral Home with the Rev. Dr. Bob Cantrell officiating.
Burial will follow at Davis Cemetery on Route 1 in Oliver Springs.
The family will receive friends from noon to 1 p.m. Friday at the funeral
Friends may call at their convenience any time after 9 a.m. Friday at the
Ruth Elizabeth Moore, 85, of Oak Ridge, died Saturday, Jan. 3, 2004, at
Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge.
Born Sept. 5, 1918, in LaFollette, she was the daughter of Daniel and Febbie
Mrs. Moore worked at the Alexander Motor Inn for approximately 30 years as a
housekeeper and then another 17 years at the Holiday Inn. She was a member of
Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church. Her family said she enjoyed playing
bingo, drawing and singing. She was also an avid doll collector.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Lonas
Allen, in 1938, and by four sisters, Ona T. Moore, Ollie L. Moore, Willie B.
Armstrong and Fleta P. Gates.
Mrs. Moore is survived by her son, Robert Charles "Rabbit" Allen, of Oak
Ridge; her foster son, Harry Young Jr., of Kingsport; her brother, Robert L.
Moore, of Detroit, Mich.; and by her sister, Susie Mae Gilliard, of Oak Ridge.
She is also survived by six special nieces, Linnette Thomas of Detroit,
Tommie Stevens of Oak Ridge, Victoria Parris and husband, Glenn, of Chattanooga,
Crystal Frye and husband, Lamont, and Loreal Frye, all of Memphis, and Nikki
Conyers of Burlington, N.C.; three nephews, John Gilliard, Ladarian Frye and
Toronzo Frye, all of Memphis; a special grandniece and caregiver, Bonnie Teasley,
and her daughter, Cici Teasley of Oak Ridge; and by a great-grandnephew, Tevin
Lee, of Oak Ridge.
The family wishes to thank the fourth floor nursing staff and doctors at
Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge and the staff at NHC HealthCare of Oak Ridge
for their care and support during her illness.
The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, 2004, at Mount Zion
Missionary Baptist Church with the Rev. T.L. Mims officiating.
Burial will follow at Oak Ridge Memorial Park.
The family will receive friends from 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday at the church.
Weatherford Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Lisa Shultz Redmond, 36, died Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2004, at her home.
Her family said her life was too short, but her love and kindness touched
many and her sparkling blue eyes and adorable smile greeted everyone she met.
According to her family, her love of animals, Tinkerbelle, Zar, Pretty Girl,
Ashley and Weazy, brought her the nickname of Ellie Mae by her husband and soul
mate of only three short years.
Mrs. Redmond was a member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. She was a graduate
of Clinton High School and worked at the Y-12 National Security Complex until
She was preceded in death by her parents, Clyde and Helen Shultz, and by her
sister in-law, Terri Shultz.
Mrs. Redmond is survived by her husband, Randy Redmond, of Clinton; two
brothers, Clyde "Buddy" Shultz and Larry Shultz and wife, Charlotte, all of
Clinton; and by two sisters, Rose Fox of Cookeville and Carolyn Nichols and husband,
Charles, of Houston, Texas.
She is also survived by a special niece, Michelle Nichols and husband, Ryan,
of Clinton; a niece, Raven Jakubowski, of Cookeville; a nephew, Jeff Shultz
and wife, Jill, of Indiana; and by her mother-in-law, Margaret Redmond, of
Clinton, who helped care for Mrs. Redmond during her illness and loved her as her
The funeral will be at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, 2004, at Holley-Gamble
Funeral Home in Clinton.
Burial will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9, at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Clinton
with the Rev. Bill McDaniel officiating.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral
Samuel W. Hester, 61, of Harriman, died Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2004, at his home.
Sharp Funeral Home in Oliver Springs is in charge of arrangements, which were
incomplete at press time.
Bertha M. Samsel, of Oliver Springs, died Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2004, at Fort
Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville.
Sharp Funeral Home in Oliver Springs is in charge of arrangements, which were
incomplete at press time.
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