Robert Lee Halferty, at the age of 92, passed away peacefully on May 22nd, 2014 at the Good Samaritan Society Home. He was born in Caldwell, Kansas to Jess and Bessie Halferty on May 5th, 1922.
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After high school, he was shortly employed at Boeing Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas and while there trained for Photography in Commercial Advertising. Upon receiving his draft card for the Marine Corps, he immediately enlisted in the US Navy Oct 22, 1942 in Wichita, Kansas. He was sent to Great Lakes, Illinois for Basic Training; then sent to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina for Operations Tech, Field Sanitation Training; to Olathe, Kansas for Medical Field Service Training; and was assigned to 5th Marine detachment as a Pharmacist's mate. He then deployed to Oahu, Hawaii to an abandoned Japanese hospital on the North-side that had been converted into a hospital for Pacific War wounded. Soon, thereafter, the Atomic bombs were dropped on Japan and in his final four months of service, he was assigned to a personnel carrier that was deployed as part of the American human relief effort to the Bay of Nagasaki. He earned the Victory Medal, American Area Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. He was honorably discharged on Jan 6, 1946 following the end of World War II as a Pharmacist Mate 3rd Class.
While employed at Pfizer chemical company in sales, he attended the Los Angeles Art Center Design College (now Julliard school of Art). There he earned his degree in Photographic Illustration with a minor in Bio-medical photography.
In 1959, he started employment at Land-Air as Division Photographer & Cinematographer. During his 30 year career, his achievements were considerable. Most notable, he was commissioned by the Civil Service to do a recruiting brochure, featuring a photographic composite "Moonset over White Sands". Documentary coverage of Research Brain Mapping of Primates, Restraint Systems in Apollo Space Program, photography team member in landing of the Space Shuttle "Colombia", High speed test track, Atomic simulations, and many rocket tests were among his many assignments.
In his spare time, photography was his hobby, as well. Accomplishments included a filming a short documentary segment for BBC show "NOVA" called Southwestern Geologic Formations and his photo of the electron Z accelerator being fired at Sandia National Labs was selected as the cover page for Science Digest.
He met Laura L. Clair while working at Holloman AFB. They married in Alamogordo, NM on June 4th, 1977. They shared a love of southwestern art and jewelry and briefly had their own gallery Native Crafts. She was his wife for 29 years & preceded him in death May 6, 2006.
Shortly after her death, he moved to Las Cruces and lived with his grandson for a short time before finding The Cotton Bloom Assisted Living facility which he called home for 4 years before moving to Good Samaritan Society Home after continued health complications. He resided there 2 years in their excellent care.
He is survived by his brother Donald Halferty and niece Patricia Roe who now resides in Denver, Colorado; daughter Laura Brown, son Charles "Mickey" Clair & wife Diane of Elkhart, Indiana; his grandson Steve Moates & wife Kim of Las Cruces; his granddaughter Keri Chaffin & husband Bob of Tahlequah, Oklahoma ; granddaughter Tracie Nelson & husband Richard of San Antonio, Texas; grandson Charles Clair & his wife Lisa of Pocatello, Idaho; granddaughter Margaret Hemsley of South Bend, Indiana; grandson Michael Clair of Sierra Vista, Arizona; and many nephews, nieces, and great grandkids all who loved him dearly.
There will be a celebration of life for family & friends located at the home of Steve & Kim Moates, in Las Cruces, May 30th 6-8:00 pm. May 31st 2pm a grave side service will be held at Hondo Cemetery located Ruidoso New Mexico. A dinner gathering will be held after the service. The family asks in lieu of flowers please make donations to Good Samaritan Society. Arrangements are with Getz Funeral Home 1410 E. Bowman Ave Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001. To sign the local online guest book visit www.GetzCares.com
Published in Ruidoso News from May 29 to June 27, 2014
Getz Funeral Home
1410 East Bowman Avenue Las Cruces, NM 88001