Obituary for BUDDECKE

Published in the Albuquerque Journal on Sunday January 13, 2008

Donald Benjamin "Sparky" Buddecke, 77, died suddenly January 6 in Port Isabel, TX. Buddecke was born May 12, 1930, in New Orleans, LA to Charles Benjamin and Gladys Kelly Buddecke. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur, TX, and trained as a Radio Officer serving on merchant ships, a profession he followed for five years to finance his college education. In 1957 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering from Texas Western College, now the University of Texas at El Paso, where he was a member of Alpha Phi Omega, an engineering fraternity. He later became a Registered Professional Engineer in New Mexico. He was a lifelong member of the Society of Mining Engineers. Buddecke was employed by Atlas Powder Company in Farmington, NM, where he supervised breaking ground for the San Juan coal field which became the Navajo Mine. He then worked on the American tunnel in Silverton Colorado. He went to Mexico with American Smelting and Refining Company for several years, serving as a mining engineer at La Prieta Mine in Parral, Chihuahua, and later in Plomosas, Chihuahua. Following his stint in Mexico he was with Banner Mining Company in Tucson, AZ. In 1963, Buddecke became a New Mexico State Mine Inspector, based in Albuquerque. In the mid-1960s he formed his own exploration consulting company and traveled throughout Mexico, Central and South America and South Africa surveying mineral deposits for various mining companies, including National Lead Corporation. He also drove a tunnel in Greece. In 1978 he moved to Texas to work for the Lower Colorado River Authority at its coal mine there. When the mine closed, he was responsible for the closure and subsequent land restoration and environmental cleanup and was given several awards for that effort. He was an expert in environmental restoration and often spoke on that subject to mining and other associations. Buddecke is survived by his two sons, Robin A. Buddecke and his wife, Diane, and grandchildren Justin, Julie and David Snow, all of San Diego, CA, and Colin Buddecke, his wife, Camille, and three grandchildren, Ian, Emma and Grace, all of Eagan, MN. He is also survived by his brothers, Charles L. Buddecke and wife, Jay, of Boise, ID, and Robin K. Buddecke and wife, Rosemary of Richmond, TX; a niece; and two nephews. He will be missed by his family and many friends. He specified that he wished to be cremated and his ashes spread at sea. This ceremony will take place at a later date.

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