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In Memoriam

Jon Stiehr

Mr Jon Florian Stiehr, age 76, of Hoschton, passed away on Friday, February 2, 2024.

The memorial service will be held Saturday, March 2, 2024 at Chestnut Mountain Presbyterian Church. Pastor John Batusic will officiate. The family will receive friends at the church from 10:00 A.M until the memorial service begins at 11 A.M.

Jon was born May 4, 1947 to the late Florian Elmer Stiehr and Ruth Merrill Stiehr in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He is survived by his wife, Linda Stiehr, stepdaughter and son-in-law Jeanette and Dan Meyers, granddaughters Maddie and Katelyn Meyers, daughter and son-in-law Erin Elizabeth Watson and husband Brant Watson, grandsons Cypres, Quincey, Liam and Ronan, daughter Ericka Jeanne Sanner, brother and sister-in-law Marc and Bari Stiehr, nephew Matthew and his wife Kate Stiehr, niece Kristen and her husband Ryan Lindvall and great nephews Carter and Jackson.

Jon pursued BS degrees in math and science. His first job was as a high school math and science teacher and coach of golf, tennis and junior varsity football. He enlisted in the United States army where he served for two years as a combat engineer. He went on to earn a master’s degree in mining engineering and then devoted 30+ years to the commercial explosives industry. His roles included technical sales representative, plant manager, field trainer, safety and compliance manager, technical writer, editor and trainer. He was member of professional organizations Institute of Manufacturers of Explosives (IME) and International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE). After retiring from field work due to his visual impairment, Jon went on to become editor of the 18th edition of the ISEE handbook, authoring several chapters and managing 25 contributing authors over a five year period. This publication, widely recognized as an industry standard, is available in print and digital versions and is available in both English and Spanish.

Jon was very passionate about classical music, opera, southern gospel and sacred music. He and Linda attended countless concerts during their 25 year marriage. He was member of church choirs until his visual impairment prevented him from being able to see the sheet music or the conductor. He loved baseball memorabilia, the Atlanta Braves, cowboy westerns, television shows from the 1960s, Alfred Hitchcock mysteries and classic movies from the 1940s and 1950s. He loved to travel and collected maps, flags, stamps and coins from foreign countries. He was an avid reader who had collections of books including history, geography, biography and reference books.

The family would like to thank everyone for their love, prayers, visits, and phone calls. A heartfelt thanks to Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center and Pruitt Home Health along with those caregivers and personal sitters who provided compassionate daily care.

He was a believer and a longtime member of Chestnut Mountain Presbyterian Church, 4675 Winder Highway, Flowery Branch, Georgia 30542. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the church general fund.

Jon had a keen sense of humor and brought a smile to friends and strangers alike. Jon always had a special place in his heart for the elderly and for people with disabilities. He was a kind and patient man who was generous with his time and his resources. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend who touched the lives of many and will be greatly missed.

Russell F. Boren

In Memory of… Russell F. Boren – President ISEE 1992 - 1994

Russell F. Boren, Sr., 91, of Oneonta, AL., passed away on September 10, 2023. Russell loved Auburn, Blount County, all churches, and most of all – his family.

Russell was born and raised in Hayden, AL. He attended St. Bernard High School from where he graduated a semester early. He went straight into college attending St. Bernard Jr. College for three semesters. He went on to get a Civil Engineering degree from Auburn University in December of 1954.

Russell worked as an engineer in the late 50’s and early 60’s for Blount County. Russell worked for Debardeleben Coal Cooperation until he and his uncle formed Pawnee Construction Company. After five years, they left and started Dixie Drilling Cooperation in 1966, and in 1968 they also formed Apache Machine and Supply Company as well as Apache Construction. A little later in 1972, Russell also started Boren Explosives Company. In 1990, he formed a joint venture and worked with Dyno Nobel, until he sold them his part and Boren Explosives Company in 2018. After 50 plus years, Russell elected to liquidate both Dixie Drilling and Apache Construction in 2021. During this time, Russell was also in commercial real estate before he and his sons purchased Limestone Springs in 2020, after living there since 2008. Throughout his years, Russell also owned several coal mines, was involved in the trucking business, and owned Boren Trucking.

Russell served on the International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE) Board for many years and served as President from 1992-1994. His focus was on education. He was instrumental in the establishment of the SEE Education Foundation and served on the board of trustees of the foundation for many years. He was known to reach into his own pocket when the foundation did not have enough money to award every worthy scholarship applicant. Much of the work and development of ISEE’s Certificate Program - Level One took place during his presidency. This included maintaining relationships with and communicating with regulatory agencies to get the training approved. Rights to the Blasters’ Handbook was purchased from ETI, formerly Dupont, and ABA publishing was purchased which was the beginning of the Blasters’ Library.

He is preceded in death by wife Hazel Boren; son Fred Boren, Jr.; great grandson Connor Wilson. He is survived by son Patrick F. Boren; grandchildren Amanda Boren, Andrea Boren, Rachel Little (Kevin), Olivia Boren, Russell Boren III; great grandchild Ryder Little; brother Jerry Boren (Nelda); daughter-in-law Janie Boren; brother-in-law Charles Puckett.

The family would like to thank all the many employees throughout the years of all the Boren Companies.

David M. Baldauf

David “Davey” M. Baldauf (Buck), age 73, of Lakewood Ranch, Florida, formerly of New Castle, PA and the Shenango Valley Area, died unexpectedly on Saturday, May 13, 2023 at home.

He was born September 23, 1949, in New Castle, PA, a son of the late Francis Joseph and Martha Muse Baldauf.

A 1967 graduate of New Castle High School, he then attended Youngstown State.

Davey dedicated 40 years of his life to the explosives industry. He was a member of the International Society of Explosive Engineers. On April 28, 1989, he was given the Distinguished Service Award by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter Society of Explosive Engineers and was presented the President’s Award from the ISEE on February 15, 2000. He retired in 2006 as head of safety for Wampum Hardware, New Galilee, PA. He was also a member of Elks Lodge #69 of New Castle.

Davey was an avid Harley Davidson motorcyclist and made annual trips to Daytona Beach for bike week.

He was good-hearted, helpful and generous. Davey was a great conversationalist, interested in people, a born storyteller, and could always connect with anyone everywhere he traveled.

Davey was a loving and devoted husband to Kathryn J. Yencsik Swanson, whom he married on June 1, 2001.

Surviving in addition to his wife are his stepchildren, Deanne (Matt) Lauther of Sharpsville, PA and Dr. Jennifer Swanson (John Freeman) and Gregory Swanson both of Lakewood Ranch, FL; four step grandchildren, Madeline and Meredith Lauther and Collin and Sophia Freeman; one brother, Robert Baldauf of Blackwood, NJ; one sister, Mrs. Gerald (Mary Jane “Mimi”) Davis of New Galilee, PA; numerous nieces and nephews, in-laws, and many special friends.

He will be deeply missed by all who loved him dearly.

John Brady Nelson

AUGUST 1, 1941 - DECEMBER 22, 2023. John Brady Nelson was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Clifford John and Mary Elizabeth Nelson. John graduated from Archbishop John Carroll High School in 1959 and later joined the Marines. For nearly 30 years, with Tri-State Explosives, John thoroughly enjoyed demolishing and imploding structures in the tri-state area - Washington DC Metro Redline, the Gannett buildings in Arlington, a well-researched documentary on the battles at Antietam, coal mines in Pennsylvania - to name a few assignments. He was a member of the International Society of Explosives Engineers. From 1999 to 2010, John's company, City Services of Washington, rendered home repair/remodeling services. He capped his nearly 60-year career as the Assistant Safety Manager at The Strittmatter Companies. John completed two Marine Corps marathons as well as the Virginia Beach Shamrock marathon. He was known as "POPPY" to his grandchildren - Patrick, Jayda, Halie Grace, Kathryn, Conor, Bradley, and George and Sulli Clexton. John's life came to a peaceful end on December 22, 2023, at his home in Bethany Beach, Delaware. He is survived by his wife Diane Hysan Nelson and his siblings James Nelson, Mary Beth Rehak, and Kathy Folger. He was predeceased by his daughter, Angela Clexton.

A Celebration of Life will be held in the spring. Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Duane Straw

Duane Lewis Straw of Hill City, SD passed away on the morning of September 6th, 2023. Duane passed with his loving wife, Brenda Straw, by his side in their home. Duane and Brenda met in the summer of 1980 and Duane was immediately taken by Brenda. Duane fell in love with Brenda for her kind soul, witty personality, and beauty (inside and out). Brenda fell in love with Duane for his big heart, caring nature, and those beautiful blue eyes. Duane and Brenda would have been married for 42 years on October 24th.

Duane was born May 11 in Wallace, ID to the parents of Loite and Viola Straw. Duane grew up with his 11 other siblings in Hill City, SD. Annette and husband Duane, Hill City, SD. Floyd Straw and Mary of Fairburn, SD. Donna Coppess, Bellefourche, SD. Donald Straw, Rapid City, SD. Donavin Straw, Bridgewater, SD. Diane Vanderbeek and Gene, Provo, SD. Bonnie Goodroad, Nisland, SD. Dennis and Kiki Straw, Hill City, SD. Brothers deceased. Danny Straw, Hill City, SD. Ronnie Straw, Hill City, SD. Derwin Straw, Rapid City, SD.

Duane was a Driller and Blaster for many years. He worked Drilling and Blasting for Pacer Corporation, road construction, and spent the last 25 years of his career at Crazy Horse Memorial. He retired in 2016. Duane always spoke fondly about his time at Crazy Horse. He loved discussing the monument and you could tell how passionate he was about the work he did there. His wife Brenda put together a wall of pictures in his man cave, honoring Duane and all his years at Crazy Horse. She wanted him to know how proud she was of him. Duane was honored to know and work with the Ziolkowski family and his colleagues at Crazy Horse Memorial.

Duane was the proud father of two children Justin Straw and Amanda Jefferies. Amanda and her husband Ian live in Aurora, CO. Amanda, just like her father, always wanted to help people, and works for a national nonprofit organization that serves first-time low-income families. Justin and his husband Erick live in Box Elder and are the owners of Justin Straw Designs, which is one of the most reputable wedding companies in the Black Hills. One relative said that when Duane spoke of his kids you could always see in his eyes how proud of them he was. Duane was the loving grandfather of Elena, Dominick, Exavior, and Dayzee Long Wolf Straw. Duane loved his grandkids and was delighted to watch them succeed in all their endeavors.

Duane was loved by many and had several lifelong friends (you know who you are) who became family over the years. Duane loved swimming in Spring Creek, climbing Black Elk Peak & Mt. Baldy and enjoyed all the beauty of the Black Hills. But the thing Duane loved the most was throwing back a few beers with his family and friends and sharing a few laughs in his man cave. The family will celebrate Duane's life and his passing with a memorial late spring 2024, at his Man Cave and home. The family will provide more details as the time comes.

We love and miss you tremendously Duane.