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Robert Lee Halferty

1922 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Robert Lee Halferty Obituary

Robert Lee Halferty, at the age of 92, passed away peacefully on May 22, 2014, at the Good Samaritan Society Home. He was born in Caldwell, Kansas, to Jess and Bessie Halferty on May 5, 1922.

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 U.S. Navy on Oct 22, 1942, in Wichita, Kansas. He was sent to Great Lakes, Ill., for basic training; then was sent to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina for operations tech, field sanitation training. From there, we went to Olathe, Kansas, for medical field service training and was assigned to 5th Marine detachment as a pharmacists' 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." He did documentary coverage of research brain mapping of primates, restraint systems in the Apollo Space Program. He was a photography team member during the landing of the Space Shuttle "Colombia", a high-speed test track and atomic simulations. 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, on June 4, 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 and 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 four years before moving to Good Samaritan Society Home due to continued health complications. He resided there two years in their excellent care.

He is survived by his brother Donald Halferty and niece Patricia Roe, who now resides in Denver, Colo.; daughter Laura Brown, son Charles "Mickey" Clair and his wife Diane of Elkhart, Ind.; his grandson Steve Moates and his wife Kim of Las Cruces; his granddaughter Keri Chaffin and her husband Bob of Tahlequah, Okla.; granddaughter Tracie Nelson and her husband Richard of San Antonio, Texas; grandson Charles Clair and his wife Lisa of Pocatello, Idaho; granddaughter Margaret Hemsley of South Bend, Ind.; grandson Michael Clair of Sierra Vista, Ariz.; and many nephews, nieces, and great-grandkids all who loved him dearly.

There will be a celebration of life for family and friends located at the home of Steve and Kim Moates in Las Cruces on May 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. A grave-side service will be held at Hondo Cemetery located in Ruidoso, May 31 at 2 p.m. A dinner gathering will be held after the service.

The family asks, in lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Good Samaritan Society. Arrangements have been made by Getz Funeral Home, 1410 E. Bowman Ave. in Las Cruces.

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Published in Alamogordo Daily News from May 29 to June 28, 2014
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