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In Memoriam

Michael J. Burrell

In October 2022, the industry lost an icon and friend when Michael J. Burrell, 76, passed away. He was born September 23, 1946 in Elkins, WV to the late Amory and Josephine Burrell. Mike is survived by his wife Lynn; his children Michael Burrell II, Meredith Burrell (David Kaufman), and Jeffery Burrell (Heather) as well as Linda Burrell and many step children and grandchildren.

Mike was a 38-year member of the ISEE and a recipient of the Blaster’s Leadership Award in 1998. He was active in many ISEE chapters, authoring many papers and presentations. Serving as was one of the original organizers of the MSHA Mine Blasting Safety and Application Seminar, Mike remained involved in the program for decades.

After graduating from West Virginia Institute of Technology in 1971, Mike began his industry career with the Leckie Smokeless Coal Co. and became the drilling and blasting supervisor. Mike shared many entertaining stories of those early days in the coal industry.

In 1979, Mike started at the Ensign-Bickford Co. (now Dyno Nobel) and was part of the early development and commercialization of nonelectric detonators. His training and mentoring of scores of young professionals was legendary during his 30 years, in addition to training untold numbers of blasters across the continent and Australia. Mike had a reputation for problem solving and outworking everybody else, regardless of age.

Not one to be content in retirement, Mike launched a second career that took him far and wide as he worked with KESCO, Senex, Newfoundland HardRok, INR Energy, AEP, Dimension Supply and Mountain Valley Pipeline. Mike developed a fondness for Newfoundland and their blast crews and always wanted to go back. His wife Lynn was often by his side as they loved to travel. He will be sorely missed.

Daniel Clanton

Daniel Dwight Clanton, 73 of Grove, OK formerly of Baxter Springs, KS passed from this life on Tuesday, August 30, 2022, at Integris Hospital Emergency Department.

Dan was born July 15, 1949, in Kerrville, Texas to Paul Alexander and Bonnie Jean (Bard) Clanton. Paul and his family moved to Baxter Springs, where Dan graduated high school. After high school Dan worked for several different companies including Gulf, Thermex, and Slurry specializing in explosives. He was a member of the (ISEE) International Society Explosive Engineering. He was a member of the Apostolic Faith Church, Baxter Springs, KS. Dan enjoyed riding motorcycles, boating, hunting, reading, and traveling the world.

Dan is preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Bonnie Clanton; one brother, Max Clanton. Dan was united in marriage to Sharon A. (Layton) Clanton on March 24, 2002, in Las Vegas, NV. She survives of the home. Additional survivors include son, Danny Clanton and wife Heidi of Neosho, MO; daughter, Belinda Wofford of Nixa, MO; step-son, Brad Underwood of Bethany, OK; four grandchildren, Tristan Clanton, Trevor Schooley, Kennedy Schooley, and Olivia Underwood; along with several extended family members.

Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, September 2, 2022, at Derfelt’s Baxter Chapel. Burial followed in the Baxter Springs Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Apostolic Faith Church or Bible College. Online condolences may be expressed at

Paul M. Fleuriel, Jr.

Whately, MA — Paul M. Fleuriel, Jr., 87, passed away July 10, 2022, at Blaire House of Worcester after battling Alzheimer's disease for several years. The son of Paul M. and Elizabeth (Hamilton) Fleuriel, he was born in Lynn, Mass., on May 21, 1935. 

Paul attended schools in Saugus, Mass., and then attended Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst, majoring in floriculture. After graduation he worked for LaSalle Florist in Whately. He then worked for several years in highway construction, building sections of I-91, I-495, I-95, and Route 6 on Cape Cod. In the early 1980s he started his own business, Pioneer Explosives & Supply, which he ran until 2006. He was a member and past president of the New England Society of Explosives Engineers, and a member of the International Society of Explosives Engineers. In 1997, he was appointed by Governor Weld to the Board of Fire Prevention Regulation, which includes oversight of the blasting industry. 

Paul was active in Whately politics, serving in many capacities, including volunteer firefighter, muster team member, town civil defense director, conservation commission member, zoning board of appeals member, and Tri-Town Beach commission member. He was town moderator for 30 years. As a water commissioner, he was instrumental in creation of two town water supplies: the Whately Water District in the center of town in the 1960s, when the former Allis Water District was scheduled to be discontinued; and the municipal water system serving the eastern side of town in the 1980s, which required doggedly working to secure state and federal resources after private wells were discovered to be contaminated with agricultural chemicals that had been previously certified as safe. 

Paul was also very involved with his community in other ways. His first and longest leadership role was with Boy Scout Troop 64, which he started and led for two generations of boys; for long after, he and many others in town enjoyed sharing their cherished memories of Appalachian Trail hikes, winter "freeze outs", paper drives, games of capture the flag, and story-telling around the campfire. He was devoted to his church, serving as a Eucharistic minister, lector, and choir member. He enjoyed playing Santa Claus at Christmas time, in the costume expertly crafted by his wife "Kit,"; for several years "Santa" made his appearance with sleigh bells in hand at family parties, the Channing Bete Company Christmas party, and at many a child's doorstep on Christmas Eve. Both while working and in retirement, he was always willing and eager to lend others a helping hand, and to help with maintaining the cemetery whenever the need arose. He enjoyed many hobbies, including doing volunteer maintenance on the H.M.S. Bounty in Fall River with the Hampshire Sailing Club, model boat building, painting, wood and sign carving, and birdhouse building. 

Paul cherished his Sunday dinners and other gatherings with family. He leaves his wife of 66 years, Katherine (Kennedy) Fleuriel; his son Daniel and wife Janice in Buckland; his daughter Ellen and husband Ed Johnson in Westmoreland, New Hampshire; his daughter Lisa and husband Michael Moore in Whately; and his sister Juliette Fleuriel in Rockingham, Vermont. He also leaves seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother, Pierre Fleuriel, and his son, Paul M. Fleuriel III. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions in Paul's memory be made to NELCWIT (17 Long Avenue, Greenfield, MA 01301 or, the Alzheimer's Association (, or the American Cancer Society(

Tommy Mack Clark

We have lost another old powderman. Tommy Mack Clark passed from this life that he enjoyed so much on June 18, 2022. It is safe to say that everyone who was lucky enough to encounter Tommy was a better person for it.

Tommy was the epitome of the powder peddler! It is possible that he was directly responsible for the sales of fifty million tons during his career in the US explosives industry.

In the 1970’s, Tommy was instrumental in bridging the gap between ANFO to bulk ANFO, to down-the-whole bulk delivery systems of slurries and bulk Emulsion /ANFO.

In the early 1970’s in East Kentucky, a place where nearly one-million tons of explosives were shot each year within a hundred-mile circle of coal mines, the blaster had no choice but to load large shots with 50 lb bags of ANFO. The 50 lb bags had to be off loaded onto a small truck, manually carried bag by bag then laid on the collar of the blasting hole and slit to pour the ANFO down-the-hole. Of course, this was time consuming and hard work.

Then a step change would occur. While working on a coal strip in East Kentucky, a small dump truck with a coal chute was lifting and pouring bulk pre-mixed ANFO down the hole. This was amazing. Within a short time, bulk ANFO was pneumatically blown down the hole which ushered in the bulk ANFO auger truck.

In 1976 Tommy worked for International Minerals and Chemicals (IMC) in Allentown, PA as VP in Marketing and Business Development for Trojan Explosives, a division of IMC and eventually moved to the Chicago area. In 1982, Tommy, along with two partners, purchased Trojan Explosives from IMC creating Trojan Corporation.

He was instrumental in converting the explosives industry from dynamite ignition systems to a solid Pentolite cast booster ignition system. This created maximum blasting efficiency and significant improvements in costs and safety.

In 1990, Tommy started the Jerry McDowell Memorial Golf Tournament to honor his dear friend and colleague in the explosives industry. It provides educational scholarships through the Society of Explosives Engineers Education Foundation. It has become very successful through Tommy’s efforts.

Tommy left his mark on the explosives industry and many of our colleagues in the ISEE.

“Everything I learned about the explosives business, I learned from Tommy, he was my best friend, my mentor, he was my lifeline. Nobody ever meant more, I still call him, but nobody answers.” - John Kelley, US Powder, Inc.

“Tommy was a good friend of my father Dugan Nelson and helped build a culture at Nelson Brothers that personal relationships with our customer was a core value and as important as providing a quality product at a fair price” - Tony Nelson, Nelson Brothers, LLC.

            “I could talk for days. It’s amazing the people that his life affected.” Gary Self, Nelson Brothers

“Tommy did big things for the US explosive industry. He was an incredible person, he was a business mentor, but a friend most of all.”  - Bob LeVan, Director of Manufacturing, Trojan Corporation, and Dyno Nobel, Product Manager.

“Tommy’s mentor at Trojan Explosives was Tom Dowling, the Technical Director.  In the mid 1970’s I worked for Tom Dowling and heard all the great stories, and witnessed the bulk breakthrough in East Kentucky, West Virginia, and Southwest Virginia where I was responsible for about 50 bulk COMSOL trucks and blasting crews. Tommy taught me that relationships with people and always delivering quality were my job.  I kept in contact with Tommy until a few months ago and he was always cheerful and loved to reminisce.” – Bob Morhard, ExploConsult, LLC., Zukovich, Morhard & Wade, LLC., ICI Explosives, Atlas Powder, and Trojan Explosives.

Tommy was born on August 25, 1940, in Moorewood Oklahoma USA. He was born on his grandparents’ farm. He was the firstborn child. Firstborn children are usually imbued with a strong sense of leadership, responsibility, and trustworthiness. The parents have higher expectations for that precious firstborn child. That was the case with little Tommy. He was a little “man” from the get-go which would last for his entire life.         

Tommy’s father was not home very much, which left him with his mother and five siblings. Tommy, at the ripe old age of seven decided he needed to go to work, saying, “the babies need milk.” So, he began to caddy at a golf club. His mother must have been so proud of her strong little boy. He was basically the man of the house at age seven, and he took that responsibility very seriously. 

Tommy never let poverty or people’s opinions hold him back. He married Evelyn at the age of twenty, and while providing for his wife, worked his way through college on a golf scholarship at Amarillo Texas Junior College. He then attended North Park College in Illinois, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree. All of that was just the beginning. Tom started in 1962 working for IMC in Carlsbad, NM as a Foreman at the Potash Mines. Then transferring in 1967 to Chicago, IL to work in purchasing and sales, then in 1973 on to Columbus, OH as Regional Sales manager, then in 1976 to Allentown, PA as VP in marketing and business development. In 1982 he, along with his partners purchased Trojan Explosives and ran their marketing department in SLC, Utah. After selling the company in 1986 he continued working in marketing for Ensign Bickford. After semi-retiring he worked as a consultant to Nelson Brothers.

He became an Arizona Maricopa County Posse Officer for 10 years, making ‘Posseman of the Year’ in 2016 and 2017. He must have thought Posse Officer was a dream job, just like a cowboy in the Old West. 

Tommy’s daughter Tina is very proud of her father. She described his strong drive to succeed and having an even bigger heart. Her father was a good provider for his family.  

May Tommy rest in peace.

Casimir Ziolkowski

Casimir Pavel Ziolkowski was born on March 3, 1954, at Crazy Horse, S.D., up at the mountain where he gave his heart and soul. 

Cas met the woman of his dreams in 1982 and it didn’t take him long to ask her to spend the rest of her life with him, and he was thankful she said yes. Only a year later and they were married, on Nov. 12, 1983. 

Cas took on the role of a father for David and Sonja and not too long after that, his wife Deiadra had Cheyanne, and four years later she had Taylor. 

Cas loved coaching softball, spending all kinds of time with his grandchildren, the Raiders, keeping the TV at the loudest it could get, and hanging out with his dog Cooper. 

He spent years building his family’s log home by hand. It speaks volumes of the man he was. He put so much work, effort and love into it every day. He was doing it for his family, not himself, and as was said, it spoke of his heart. He would’ve given the shoes off his feet, and although he would’ve liked to keep the cigarettes in the pocket in his shirt, he would’ve given the shirt off his back and never ask for anything. 

On May 12, 2022, Cas’ broken heart said goodbye to this world. He was 68.

He is survived by his wife, Deiadra; daughters, Cheyanne (Ryan) Bailey and Taylor (Nolan Saufley) Ziolkowski; stepchildren, David Larson and Sonja Bakonyi; and grandchildren, Ryder, River and Relic Bailey.

Per his request, no service will be held. A family get together will be held at a later date.