October 18, 1920 - December 21, 2012
Rene (R.J.), 92, passed away peacefully at home on Dec. 21, 2012 on the Winter Solstice in Los Alamos. He is survived by his wife Valarie J. Prestwood of Los Alamos; his three daughters and their husbands: Jennifer and Barry Borden of Charlotte, N.C., Linda and Allan Anderson of Los Alamos, Patti and Eric Cole of Santa Fe; his granddaughter and her husband: Tracy Borden-Geor and Raphe Geor of Auckland, New Zealand; and his two great grandsons Jaden and Shaymos Geor of Auckland, New Zealand.
Rene was born in San Rafael, Calif., grew up in Sonoma, Calif., and moved to Los Alamos in 1943 when he was recruited during World War II as a young chemist from UC Berkeley to join the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. While a student at UC Berkeley, he lettered in diving. He later earned his doctorate in Nuclear Chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis, returned to Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory and retired in 1984.
He had a passion for skiing which took him to faraway places in Canada where he helicopter skied for many years. He was one of a group of dedicated skiers who cut and cleared the slopes of Pajarito Mountain in Los Alamos creating the ski hill that exists today. Rene also was one of the founders of the Los Alamos Swim Club. He was an avid golfer and active in the Los Alamos Light Opera. As an accomplished knitter he won County and State Fair ribbons for his sweaters, and he grew award winning roses.
At Rene's request there will be no services. If a tangible form of tribute is desired, in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service Hospice or Direct Relief International. A very heartfelt thank you goes out to Carolyn Linnebur, MD, Debbie Storms, RN, Mary Jordan and the wonderful people at Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service Hospice for their loving care and support of Rene. To all who knew him and his love of life, many thanks. Rene (also fondly known as R.J. and Dr. Pres) will be missed. As a husband, daddy, grandfather, great grandfather, and friend he taught us to be brave and strong and to make the most of the time we have here on Earth. He will always be deeply loved by us all.