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In Memoriam

Ronald John Elliott

Ronald John Elliott born Dec. 7, 1947, in Huntingdon, Quebec, passed away at home on April 15, 2021, after a brutal battle with cancer, surrounded by his loved ones. Predeceased by his sister Kathleen; his daughter Faye; and his parents John and Mary. Loved by wife Bernice; brother Bob; son Christopher; daughter Genevieve; three grand-children, Jaxon, Ada Rose and Leonidas; uncle Pete (Moray); aunt Meta; and many cousins and in-laws.
He studied geology at Carleton University before transferring to the mining engineering program at British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). After several summers working in exploration with his uncle Peter Fox, he took his first permanent position as geological technologist at the Iron Ore Company in Schefferville, Quebec. He was promoted to pit foreman, then to blasting engineer after an interest in the science of blasting, which became a life-long passion. It was there that he first became a member of the ISEE and nervously presented his first paper at ISEE’s annual conference in Orlando in 1981. Since then, he has authored and co-authored many blasting related papers that have been presented at ISEE and other industry venues.

It was also in Schefferville where he met his wife of 46 years, Bernice. Following their marriage, they welcomed two children Christopher and Genevieve, while suffering the loss of a newborn. Just before the mine closed, the family moved to Logan Lake, British Columbia, where Ron took a position as a drill and blast supervisor at the new Highmont Mine. He was responsible for blasting engineering, planning, safety and training of the drilling and blasting crews in the operation of an 85,000 tonne per day open pit cop-per mine.

When the mine closed, he took a position as blasting superintendent with Pacific Blasting, eventually becoming blasting vice president. Explosives manufacturer Ireco hired him as a technical representative, eventually becoming the Canadian Technical Service Manager in Mississauga, Ontario, when Ireco was purchased by Dyno Nobel. While in Ontario, he revived the Ontario Trillium Chapter of ISEE as its president. Pacific Blasting lured him back to the West Coast where he also revived the Western Canadian Chapter of ISEE as its president. He dedicated a total of 22 years helping to grow Pacific Blasting from a local family-owned company to an international player, pursuing projects on all four corners of the globe.
He was elected the first non-U.S.-elected president of ISEE and served from 2010 – 2011.
Ron received ISEE’s Distinguished Ser-vice Award in 2019. The Distinguished Service Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated leadership and who has made a significant contribution to the explosives industry. Additionally, the recipient represents the highest standards in blasting.

Ron was committed to raising the level of professionalism of blasters in the field through training and improving the public’s perception of the blasting industry. He led and mentored many young blasters throughout the years, to enable them to learn, grow and develop sound blasting practices. His dedication to their growth allowed many of these blasters to become the best in their field. He exhibited a commitment to the ISEE and to the growth of those who work for him.
He was awarded the Professional Achievement Award for recognition of Outstanding Performance in Technology by the Applied Science Technologist and Technician of British Columbia (ASTTBC) for his outstanding contribution to the blasting industry in British Columbia.

After retiring in 2013, he started a new chapter in his career as a blasting consultant. As principal of International Blasting Consultants, he continued to advance excellence, working locally and around the world. He was an avid curler, fisherman, golfer, skier and marksman.

Funeral services will be attended by his family and a Memorial Service will be held at a future date. The family wishes to thank the oncology nurses at Surrey Memorial Hospital and the Fraser Home Health Palliative Team as well as his GP Dr. Samantha Hage-Moussa.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the charity of your choice or the SEE Education Foundation. Tributes can be made at www.

Lewis L. "Lew" Oriard

Sadly, Lewis L. "Lew" Oriard passed away on Dec. 31, 2020. In his 95 years, Lew had a very eventful life and he made incredible contributions to the understanding of blasting effects and practical limitations for high-risk work.

As a young man, Lew worked with his Grandfather Leon and Father Marcel at Oriard Powder Company - founded in 1910 in Spokane, Wash. In the early years, explosives were delivered by horse and wagon.

At age 15, Lew began studies in engineering at Gonzaga University in Spokane and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in civil engineering. At age 18, Lew's education was interrupted by WWII while he served in a Combat Engineers Unit. After the war, Lew returned to Gonzaga University and completed his undergraduate degree in civil engineering.

Lew continued his studies at St. Louis University in Missouri where he completed a master's degree in geology while also studying geophysics. Lew stayed on a few years at the University as a teaching faculty member.

In 1951, Lew returned to Spokane to become a part owner and technical advisor for Oriard Powder Company until 1965. He also provided independent consulting services during this period.

From 1965 to 1977, Lew relocated to California where he was an Associate to Consulting Principal and Partner at Woodward-Clyde Consultants. In 1977, Lew continued consulting from his Company - Lewis L Oriard, Inc. until he retired in 1995.

Lew authored The Effects of Vibrations and Environmental Forces in 1999, and in 2002, Lew completed work on Explosives Engineering, Construction Vibrations and Geotechnology. This important book concisely covers geotechnical subjects and provides many case histories summarizing key findings and challenges from Lew's diverse work throughout the world. Lew consulted on more than 1,500 projects in over 40 countries.

Lew had been an ISEE member since 1979. He was recognized by ISEE with a Blaster’s Leadership Award in 1992. He was presented with ISEE’s Distinguished Service Award in 2000. He was the first single author to have a book published by ISEE. Lew generously donated royalties from his books to the SEE Education Foundation which created a fund in his name: the Lew Oriard Scholarship Fund.

Lew's work is well documented in the books and many technical papers and journal articles he authored during his 50-year career.

Lew was a gracious and humble man with great integrity. When Lew's wife Helen was diagnosed with Alzheimer disease around 1995, Lew retired and with help from his children, they cared for her in his home for almost 20 years.

When Helen was finally admitted to a care facility, Lew and his son Tom visited her daily for eight years and carefully fed her to assure she had at least one good meal each day. Helen passed at age 92 in 2017. Lew's loving devotion to Helen is inspiring.

Lew is survived by his daughter Pam and sons Tim, Vince and Tom. He is predeceased by sons Steve and Doug, and his wife Helen.

Paul Kunze

Paul Dean Kunze passed away on March 20 2021 at Phillips County Hospital after a short and courageous battle with lung cancer. He passed peacefully in his sleep surrounded by family.

Paul was born in Colfax Washington May 4, 1940 and adopted by Jane Marie and Paul August Kunze. He has one younger brother, Jim, who now resides in Clarkston, Washington.

Paul and Fran recently celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary. They had a wonderful family of four daughters, Gloria, Cherie, Nancy and Alecia, and one son, Mark.

Paul and Fran moved to Malta, Montana in 1981, purchasing a home south of town on HWY 191, where they established their home for the past 40 years. Paul was the Blasting Supervisor for N.A. Degerstrom for several gold mines until 1991. He purchased the Lane pump business in 1991 and started BDS, Inc., which is still in existence.

Prior to moving his family to Montana, Paul’s illustrious career led him to the states of Washington, Alaska Idaho, Oregon and Hawaii. He was a Geology Major at Washington State University and became a Lead Explosives Foreman for Whitman County in Washington State by the age of 20. He worked on such notable projects as the Grand Coulee Dam, the Pi’ilani Highway on Maui, Rock Island Dam in Wenatchee, Washington and locally being a part of the project to excavate “Leonardo,” the first discovered mummified dinosaur in the world.

Paul was a long-time member of ISEE (International Society of Explosive Engineers). He served as a board member for nine years, and was the Society President in 1998 and 1999. Paul also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the SEE Education Foundation for 2000-2001. He was a founding member of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of ISEE in the state of Montana in 1991 and has served as President since its inception in 1991. He was a published contributor in many of the membership publications, including being a contributor to the ISEE 18th Edition Blasters Handbook as an author and reviewer. Paul left a significant footprint in the industry, from a small rural western town blaster to the world stage, always humble and oh so caring.

He enjoyed competitive trap-shooting events and competitions, receiving many awards along the way. He was a devoted rock-hound and taught himself how to knap arrowheads. Other hobbies included silversmithing and woodworking. He was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed fishing, hunting and photography.

He is survived by his wife, Fran, and his five children, Gloria (John) of Salem, Oregon, Cherie (Dave) of Kalispell, Montana, Nancy of Portland, Oregon, Mark (Lisa) and Alecia (Steve) both of Malta, Montana. He also leaves behind a legacy of 30 plus grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Paul was so giving of himself and his knowledge, always sharing with family, friends and business associates in any way he could. He was so kindhearted and proud of his family, beaming with pride whatever the occasion.

He leaves behind a beautiful tapestry of life; loving family, good friends and lots and lots of wonderful memories.

Services will be at 2:00pm at Wilderness Funeral Home on Saturday, March 27, 2021 with Graveside services to all who would like to follow. Reception at the Tin Cup.

The service will be live streamed on our Facebook Page; Wilderness Funeral Homes

Terry Huskin Misenheimer

Terry Huskin Misenheimer, 69, of Albemarle, N.C., passed away Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Terry was born July 24, 1950, in Rowan County to the late W.W. Misenheimer and Virginia Teague Pickler. He was a 1969 graduate of East Rowan High School.

Terry worked as an explosives engineer for most of his life; he enjoyed his job, no matter where he worked, whether blasting pipelines in West Virginia, tunneling under a lake in India, or working a mile underground in the Midwest. Terry also loved riding his motorcycle, shooting his guns and even worked for a while as a correctional officer with the Texas department of prison's shooting range expert. Most of all he loved his wife, children, grandchildren and spending time with them camping and fishing. He had a zest for life, believing that nothing was impossible and would never back down from something he believed in. Terry had a big heart for those he cared about and was never short of wise cracks.

Terry was preceded in death by his parents. Terry is survived by his wife, Kim Misenheimer of Albemarle, whom he married July 15, 1995; son, Del (Renee) Misenheimer of Pittsburgh, Pa.; two daughters, Jennifer (Travis) Marshall of Woodleaf, and Carrie (Paul) Bardinas of Salisbury; two step-children, Gabe (Jess) Semonis of Austin, Tex., and Stori Semonis of Louisville, Ky.; three sisters, Melva (Hurley) Kimmer of Gold Hill, Sue Carter of Salisbury, and Billie (Dean) Beaver of Rockwell; brother, Berry (Cindy) Isenhour of Salisbury; 17 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Service: Due to the mandate from Governor Cooper and in an effort to limit crowd size, a celebration of life will be held at a later date. Powles Staton Funeral Home of Rockwell is assisting the Misenheimer family. Online condolences may be made at

Charles “Chuck” Edward Blackwell

Chuck passed away on Jan. 26, 2020, in Mountain Home, Ark., at the age of 88.

Chuck began his career in the explosives industry at a young age delivering product for an explosive distributor in Texas.  When sales increased in his delivery area, his employer quickly realized that Chuck was a natural salesman and was promoted into a sales position.

He worked in Virginia, and then moved to the export division of Atlas Powder, Atlas International in Port Bienville, Miss., where he headed sales and logistics for export into various regions.  Chuck travelled to 61 countries during the course of his career.

He was instrumental in the development of explosive initiation systems in South America, the Caribbean and Central America. Chuck was a very hands guy who advanced blasting technology in those regions. He also worked on several projects in Europe, especially Turkey. It was through his expertise, knowledge, honesty, and most importantly, he was one of the most personable, humble and respected men in the industry that made him one of a kind.

After his retirement, Chuck and his wife Edna moved to the White River area in Flippin, Ark. He started his second career building specialty fishing boats made for White River Trout Fishing. He enjoyed the outdoors, and fishing on the river with friends and family. In truth, Chuck enjoyed good conversation and loved telling stories and tales to his fishing companions.

Chuck is survived by his wife, Edna Blackwell, of Flippin, Ark; four sons, Patrick and wife Cathy of Golden, Colo., Tommy and wife Lisa of Cotter, Ark., Mark and wife Margie of Fort Myers, Fla., and Larry of Alamogordo, N.M. He also leaves seven grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.

To those of us who were honored to work alongside of him, the memories and stories will be told for many years. Chuck will be missed by many.