Friday, December 19, 2008

Multiple Obituaries

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

I have gotten behind and several deaths have gone unreported. I was able to illustrate these three deaths from the same project; the Albuquerque Police Department's 1978 Annual Report.

So what’s wrong with this picture?

Retired Albuquerque Police Sergeant Bryce Martin died in an apparent suicide Friday October 17, 2008, after suffering from some major health issues over the past several months, according to what his wife, Maria Del Carmen Lopez Martin told police. Martin was 69.

Martin, seen here supervising the radio room in 1978, retired from APD December 31, 1985.

I first met him while I worked at the Albuquerque News. He was the graveyard shift radio supervisor. The story on him was that he had trouble working as a newly promoted graveyard shift patrol sergeant. It seems he had several wrecks. He was reassigned to radio after officers responded to an crash on Second Street, just south of Interstate Highway 40 where a police car was on the median. Sgt, Martin told the officer he had to swerve to avoid an on coming train; the stationary steam engine that was on display in Coronado Park.

Martin had a love for classical music. I was downtown on a day off when Martin drove by in his police unit. I could hear him coming; not because of his siren, but by the loud sounds of some opera, to which he was singing along.

Martin was, what I call a transition police officer. Only a few years before his coming on the Department, the belief of what made a good officer included being big. Martin was at 6 foot 4 inches and probably 250 pounds. He was smart, level-headed, well-read, a great leader and the kind of back up that any officer would want; he filled a doorway exit as well as anyone.

New Mexico author Tony Hillerman died Sunday October 26, 2008, of pulmonary failure. He was best known for his series of novels of Navajo Tribal Police Officers, Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Sgt. Jim Chee. He was 83.

I met Hillerman during the summer of 1967, at weeklong seminar of the New Mexico Interscholastic Press Association's workshop held at the University of New Mexico. Professor Hillerman was UNM Journalism Department Chairman, the liaison and a news-writing instructor.

Hillerman was still a working journalist while he was at UNM. Here, right, he interviewed then Violent Crimes Lt. Elton L. "Whitey" Hansen, left, about a recent 1978 homicide, while Public Information Officer Robert Fenton listened. Hansen was promoted Chief in April 1980.

Retired Albuquerque Police Officer Darrell Lewis died after an extended illness on Monday Dec. 8, 2008, in Las Cruces, N.M. He was 62.

I met Lewis in 1972, while working on a photo essay series on APD police officers for the Albuquerque News. He accompanied me in covering a United States Auto Club’s Indy type cars race at the Phoenix International Raceway, for the Best Western Motels Bobby Ball 150, Saturday November 4, 1972, which Bobby Unser won.

Lewis, right, was a firearms examiner in the Criminalistics Section in 1978; he is seen here with Lt. Tom Hubeny.

1 comment:

Bobbie said...

Darrell was a fine man and a good person to know. RIP Darrell....Bobbie