Charles R. Loeber
Charles Ronald Loeber, age 81, a resident of Albuquerque since 1978, died on Sunday, May 10, 2020. He was born in Rahway, NJ to Charles George and Margaret Loeber. He graduated from Linden High School with first honors in the general curriculum. He played on two state championship football teams and was inducted into Linden's Athletic Hall of Fame. Charles graduated with honors from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1963 with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, a license as an engineering officer in the merchant marine, and a commission as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He received an honorable discharge as a LTJG from the Navy in 1969. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1976 with a Master of Public Administration degree.
After serving for two years aboard various ships in the merchant marine, he joined the Civil Service and began working as an engineer on the design and development of tactical nuclear weapons at Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, NJ. In 1969, he became the Lead Mechanical Engineer on the Lance Missile, which became an important part of our nuclear deterrent system in Europe. In 1973, he transferred to Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Denver, CO and served as the Chief of their Engineering Division. Their mission was to safely destroy a large stockpile of chemical munitions including nerve gas, mustard and phosgene, which was successfully completed in 1977. He then transferred to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in Germantown, MD and served as the Project Manager for all construction activities in the Nuclear Weapons complex (NWC). In the 1978, he transferred to the DOE's Albuquerque Operations Office, which managed the NWC. In 1984, he was put in charge of nuclear weapons production operations.
In 1989, as the Cold War was ending, and at the request of the Secretary of Energy, he led a team in conducting studies to determine the best way to reduce the size of the NWC. He was then tasked to serve as the Program Manager to implement the conclusions from these studies, which resulted in the closure of three nuclear weapon production plants.
Charles retired from the Civil Service in 1994 and then joined Sandia National Laboratories, where he helped to establish a neutron generator production system. In 2001, he completed a book entitled Building the Bombs: A History of the Nuclear Weapons Complex, which he donated to Sandia as a public service. His book became very popular and is now in its sixth printing. He gave presentations on this subject to a wide variety of audiences from coast-to-coast for many years. From 2002 to 2005, he managed Sandia's New Hire Orientation Program and then retired (again). He continued to serve as a consultant to the DOE and Sandia.
Charles then became very active as a volunteer for the National Atomic Museum Foundation (NAMF). In 2005, he became the Museum Relocation Project Manager, which resulted in the design and construction of the new National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque. In 2007, he became President of the NAMF. The new museum opened in 2009.
Charles is survived by his wife of 55 years, Jerilynn; one son, David August Loeber of Horseheads, NY; and three daughters, Lisa Loeber of Monument CO, Laura Foreman of Albuquerque, and Patricia Aragon of Centennial, CO. He is also survived by ten grandchildren, Ryan Wooldridge and Sarah Foreman of Albuquerque, Jeremiah, Jacob, and Matthew Gray of Monument, CO, Kyle, Colton and Josephine Loeber of Horseheads, NY, and Isabella and Isaiah Aragon of Centennial, CO. He was loved by many and will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
Due to COVID 19 restrictions, services will be held at a later date at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History (NAMF) in Albuquerque. Memorial contributions may be made to the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History (NAMF) at www.nuclearmuseum.org/support/
Please visit our online guestbook for Charles at www.FrenchFunerals.com
Published by Albuquerque Journal on May 17, 2020.