Dale Marvin Holm, a resident of Los Alamos for sixty years, passed away Nov. 19, 2012 after a short illness. Dale lived a full life, providing service and encouragement to many. By his own words, he had few regrets.
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Dale was born in Portland, Ore. in 1924. He was the youngest child of John Elza and Marjorie Holm. His father died in 1929 at the beginning of the Depression. Dale learned to enjoy work at a young age. An active Boy Scout, Dale reached the rank of Eagle Scout with two palms. He attended scout camp for many years where he became a horseman and taught riding. The ideals of scouting infused Dale?s life. He joined the Navy in 1942 and served through WWII.
After the war he attended Lewis and Clark College and raced with their ski team. He met his future wife Molly in the ski patrol room after breaking his leg. Molly and Dale were married June 5, 1949, the same day Dale got his bachelor?s of science degree in physics. Dale attended graduate school at Oregon State. He finished his course work in 1952, and they moved to Los Alamos to complete his thesis. He received his doctorate in 1957.
Dale first worked in the reactor division, and in 1962 participated in the last atmospheric testing in an airborne diagnostic station. He became a world leader in gamma scanning of reactor fuel elements, and trace elements analysis. He later worked in the health division where he helped develop equipment to scan and sort chromosomes. He finished his career in the intelligence division. He retired in 1987.
Dale was a generalist and a master of many things. With his love of working with his hands, Dale designed and built his home over many years of evening and weekend work. He was involved in developing Sawyer?s Hill and Pajarito Mountain ski areas. He was an avid photographer. He taught grafting to the Master Gardeners. He made artwork of various forms, including wood, metal sculpture, and painting. In later years, he made many video documentaries. He loved telling stories at any opportunity.
Dale really enjoyed dancing with Molly. He and Molly led dance classes at the Community building for many years. Because of his difficulty in learning to dance, he developed great patience and a desire to help others dance. He was inducted into the Los Alamos Living Treasures in 2009 primarily because of teaching ballroom dancing.
He is preceded in death by his brother John Holm, sister Jeanne Holm and grand-daughter Erin Bjorklund. Survivors include his beloved wife Molly; son Chris Holm with his wife Lesleigh; daughter Heidi Bjorklund with her husband Mark and their children Renee, Rachel and David; Renee?s husband Morgan Johnson and their son Peyton; and son Eric Holm with his wife Kalynne and their children Bryan and Jacob.
A memorial service is planned for 1:00 p.m. Dec. 15 at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church in Los Alamos.
Published in Los Alamos Monitor from November 27 to November 28, 2012