Donald Hagerman

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  • "Don was my first boss at LASL (old name). He was very good..."
    - Don Liska
  • "My heart goes out to Mr. Hagerman's family - God bless you..."
    - Maureen Newell
  • "My deepest sympathies on the passing of Don Hagerman. I..."
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Donald was born May 2, 1929 and passed away on June 30, 2013.
He was born in Boulder, Colo., to A. Lloyd and Lela Kidwell Hagerman. His childhood was spent in several small towns in Colorado, Lafayette, Brighton and Idaho Springs, where his father was district manager for the Public Service Company of Colorado.
Following graduation in 1947 from ISHS, he attended Colorado University-Boulder, where he majored in physics, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1951. College activities included Pi Mu Epsilon and Sigma Pi Sigma.
Donald was an enthusiastic outdoorsman and a good hunter. During college years and for many years thereafter, he was a fine mountaineer and worked as a guide for the summer with the Department of Recreation at CU. He led weekly hikes up some of Colorado's well known mountains, including seven ascents of Long's Peak and one of the East Face of Longs. Rock climbing was beginning to be a recognized sport and he did successful climbs of the Flatirons, Devil's Tower and Tetons in Wyoming - and later many climbs in the Wind River Range of Wyoming, Mt. Whitney in California, New Mexico's Sangre de Cristos, Canada and one climb in Europe.
He and Margaret Hoyt were married Sept. 9, 1951 and spent their honeymoon driving to Stanford University, where Donald pursued his doctorate in physics under major professor W.K.H. Panofsky. In 1955, he received his degree and subsequently accepted a position at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.
In the early 1960s, he was chosen, along with three other scientists, to begin the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility, a particle accelerator known as LAMPF, still in operation today. He participated in the design, building and operation of this accelerator and became division leader, with a staff of 300.
A member of several physics organizations, Sigma Xi and the Federation of American Scientists, he was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a Fellow of the American Institute of Physics. Never one to seek publicity for his accomplishments, he remained modest throughout his life.
Published in Los Alamos Monitor from July 14 to July 15, 2013