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ORWOLL M. HACKETT


HACKETT ORWOLL MILTON HACKETT Orwoll Milton Hackett, age 93, passed away peacefully on October 22, 2013 from complications of pneumonia. He was a resident of Arlington, VA since 1961 and lived at Goodwin House-Bailey's Crossroads in Falls Church for the last decade of his life. Born in Vayland, SD in 1920, Milt was the son of the late Hilda Dahl Hackett and Frank Moody Hackett. He grew up in Cottonwood, MN and in 1938 attended the University of Minnesota until his studies were interrupted by WW II. He graduated in 1949 after active duty in the Navy. Milt had a distinguished military career. In 1940 he voluntarily joined the Navy and trained as an officer. He became a torpedo officer on the destroyer USS Strong (DD467) in 1942, serving in the Pacific. A year later the USS Strong was sunk by the Japanese in Kula Gulf, Northern Solomon Islands with numerous lives lost. Milt first aided others onto floating debris and after that led several men to an island where, after three days of evading enemy soldiers, they found US Marines and were eventually brought to safety. Milt returned to the USA and became the gunnery officer aboard the USS Paul Hamilton (DD590) stationed in South Carolina until August of 1944 when he was transferred to the USS Thomas E. Fraser (DM24) commissioned in Boston. While this ship was docked in Boston Harbor awaiting deployment to the Pacific, entertainment was provided to the sailors by the USO. The lead singer was Marguerite "Pam" King, who became the love of his life. They married shortly after the war was over. Milt served in the Pacific until the end of the war, and, as he wrote in a letter to his mother in 1945, the USS Thomas E. Fraser "led the parade into Tokyo Bay, the third warship to enter" for the formal surrender of Japan. Milt observed the ceremonies from the deck. He separated from the Navy as Lieutenant Commander and entered the Naval Reserves in 1946 from which he retired in 1980 as a Commander. After Pam and Milt married in 1946, Milt completed his studies with a degree in geology. He worked for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) for the entirety of his career. As a young geologist, he was based in Riverton, WY, and Bozeman, MT. He surveyed and mapped the aquifers in several western states, most being recorded for the first time. He always loved the outdoors, enjoyed fishing and camping, and together with Pam and their growing family, explored the wilderness of much of the USA, often stopping to visit with extended family. Milt advanced through many positions in the Water Resources Division (WRD) of the USGS. He became the Geologist-in-Charge, then the District Geologist, Boston District, where he was responsible for all ground-water programs in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. In 1961 Milt and the family moved to Virginia where Milt served on the WRD Senior Staff in Washington, DC, and in the new USGS National Center in Reston, VA. He was Chief, Ground Water Branch; and then Chief, Office of Water Data Coordination; and finally Associate Chief Hydrologist and, at times, Acting Chief Hydrologist. He consulted internationally for the WRD, particularly to Pakistan, India, and Jordan. In 1978 he was recognized by the Secretary of the Interior with the highest honor awarded by the Department of the Interior, the Distinguished Service Award, "in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the management and development of the Nation's water resources programs." Milt's passion was genealogy. He was proud of his Norwegian heritage and remained involved in the Sons of Norway. Following his retirement from both the USGS and the Naval Reserves in 1980, he and Pam travelled the world often in search of descendants and mapping the family tree. He was active in the Lutheran Church throughout his life and was most recently a member of Our Savior Lutheran Church. He lost his beloved wife Pam on August 22, 2013, two months prior to the day of his passing. He is survived by his four children, Cathy Leigh Jelinek and her husband, Henry, Wendy Lynn Jalbert and her husband, Gilles, Jeffrey Miles Hackett and his wife, Sydnia Jacobs and Laurie Ellen Hackett and her husband, David Hollander. He leaves behind eight beloved grandchildren and 10 great- grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 9 at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 825 S. Taylor St., Arlington, VA 22204. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made in Milt's name to the church.In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made in Milt's name to the church.


Published in The Washington Post on Nov. 6, 2013
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