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In Memoriam

Calvin Joseph Konya

Calvin Joseph Konya, Ph.D., age 78, of Hartsgrove Twp., died Nov. 28, 2021, at Hillcrest Hospital. He was born June 23, 1943, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Calvin and Irene (nee: Bartko).

Dr. Konya began his accomplished career in Mining Engineering receiving his Bachelors in Mining Engineering from the Missouri School of Mines, followed by Masters in Mining Engineering from the Missouri School of Mines, Masters in Engineering Management from the Missouri School of Mine and his Ph.D. in Mining Engineering from the University of Missouri – Rolla. He was a Lifetime Member of the National Academy of Sciences; Recipient of Honorary Doctorate from Miskolc University; Retired Professor from West Virginia University – Mining Engineering; Retired Endowed Professor and Department Chair from the Ohio State University- Mining Engineering; Founder, First Executive Director, and First President of the International Society of Explosive Engineers; Founder and President of Intercontinental Development Inc. Over the years, he authored of over 150 books, papers, and publications in blast engineering, many of which were translated into 10+ different languages around the world.

Survived by his wife of 50 years, Eva (nee: Janosfy); children, Judy (Jim) Petrucci of Kirtland, Eva Konya of Rock Creek, Anthony Konya of Montville Twp., and Ashley Konya of Montville Twp.; and grandson, Triston Sefcik. He was preceded in death by his parents.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Burr Funeral Home, 116 South St., Chardon, OH. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 at St. Mary Church, 401 North Street, Chardon, OH, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Burial will follow at Huntsburg Township Cemetery.

Arrangements by the Burr Funeral Home and Cremation Service. Information and condolences online at

Charles D. Sutton

Charles D. Sutton, 74, of Indiana, Pa., died peacefully at home Wednesday, June 30, 2021. He was born in Indiana in 1946 to James and Garnet (Pierce) Sutton.

He attended Keith School and then graduated from IHS in 1964. During the Vietnam Conflict, he served in the United States Air Force Security Service as an Intelligence Officer and worked with the National Security Agency. Chuck later joined Citizens Ambulance Service as one of its earliest employees as a paramedic and also served as deputy coroner. He then graduated in the first class from the Safety Science Department at IUP in 1972. Early in his career he worked for Aetna Life and Casualty. He joined Nobel Insurance Agency in 1979 as a safety engineer servicing the explosives industry. He then joined the Reschini Agency as the safety director in the 1990s. In the early 2000s, he joined Austin Powder Company as their safety director. Prior to retiring he worked for Appalachian Well Services and Titan Wireline as their corporate safety director. After retiring he enjoyed transporting fire safety trailers and demonstrating them all over the United States.

Chuck is survived by his wife of 53 years, Connie (Evans), son Craig and wife Johanna, daughter Carrie and husband William, all of Indiana. Grandchildren include Payton, Trenton and Robert. He is also survived by a sister, Linda Russell (N.C.) and her significant other Joseph Whitley; a sister-in-law, Nancy Plummer (Va.) and husband Noel; a sister-in-law Beth (N.C.) and husband Steve Ellsworth; numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, in laws H. Leroy and Virginia Evans, and a nephew, Christopher Russell.

He was a member of the Indiana Franklin Masonic Lodge, International Society of Explosives Engineers, Trinity United Methodist Church, and the Antique Automobile Club of America (National and Punxsutawney Region). His favorite past time was spending time with his family at their log cabin and camp near Cherry Tree. Chuck was an accomplished clarinetist and enjoyed working on many different projects, especially at camp.

The family would like to thank Help Mates and his caregiver Trista, and the Paralyzed Veterans of America for their assistance with the Veteran’s Administration.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church on Saturday, July 10 at 1pm followed by military honors provided by the VFW Post 1989. Private interment will be made at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Paralyzed Veterans of America, 801 Eighteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20006-3517 or Trinity United Methodist Church, 398 Church Street, Indiana, PA 15701.

John Dean Smith

John D. Smith passed away on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. He was born Oct. 8, 1942, to the late John W. and Naomi Smith.

John had a long and distinguished career in the explosives and blasting field. John was continually looking for technical ways to improve overall blasting operations both in terms of productivity and safety.

John held positions as drilling supervisor and manager of drilling and blasting (technical department) for AMAX Coal Company midwestern operations. He also held management positions with Black Beauty Coal and Peabody Coal as manager of drilling and blasting for Peabody Coal Company, Bear Run Complex. John was also employed by VIBRONICS, Inc. as manager of technical services.

John participated in numerous technical studies including but not limited to; USBOM, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Saint Louis University, University of Texas, El Paso, Northwestern University, OSM, SMU and Blasting Analysis International with the widening of the Panama Canal. John was also a member of the ISEE for many years.

He is survived by his wife Rita Sykes-Smith; sons Matt Williams (Jennifer), John Davis and Roscoe Miskell; brother Bill Smith, sisters Becky McClure (Bob) and Jean Ann Swalve (David), and many nieces and nephews.

Gerald Leroy "Gerry" Rice

Gerald Leroy “Gerry” Rice, age 69, of Dickson, Tenn., passed away on Monday, April 26, 2021, at Horizon Medical Center in Dickson. He was born on June 18, 1951, in Coaldale, Pa., to the late Augustus and Florence Snyder Rice.

Gerry was married to the love of his life Vicki for over 44 years. He served his country in the United States Army and worked for Accurate Energetics for many years as an Explosives Expert. He was also a member of the International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE) since 1983.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers Gary Rice and Dennis Rice.

Survivors include his wife: Vicki Rice of Dickson, Tenn.; his son: Jason Rice (Rachel) of Fairview, Tenn.; his daughter: Cassie Rice of Nashville, Tenn.; his sister: Beverly Minick of Lancaster, Pa.; and his two granddaughters: Lydia Mollie Rice and Aliza Gradye Rice.

Graveside services will take place on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at 2 p.m. at the Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery with Pastor Wes Sesler officiating. Visitation with the family will take place on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Taylor Funeral Home. Place of rest will be in the Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery.

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.