Walter Gerald Hines, born October 31, 1943, passed away on May 3, 2021 after a struggle with pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his loving wife Bettie and numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends. He was preceded in death by parents Jerry and Nona Hines, brother James (Jimbo) Hines.
Walter grew up in Las Cruces and Albuquerque. He attended Highland High and NMSU. At NMSU, Hines pledged SAE and made life-long friends, spent most of his time studying, searching for cheap meals, playing intramurals, and occasionally imbibing in keg parties at Mesilla Dam under the big cottonwood known as 'The Drinking Tree.'
He graduated from NMSU with a BS and MS in Civil Engineering, having been mentored by NM's "water guru" Dr. John W. Hernandez. After graduation, Hines worked for the US Geological Survey (USGS) in San Antonio before receiving a direct commission in the Army Medical Service Corps as a Sanitary Engineer. He was assigned to the 5th US Army Hospital in Thailand for a year, and then served at Edgewood Arsenal, MD. Following discharge, he returned to work for the USGS in CA and OR and for the US Forest Service in New Mexico. He then began a long career in engineering consulting (water resources) in WA, NM, AZ, and NV.
Hines always had a love for the southwest, sports, and military history. He wrote several articles and two books â€" Aggies of the Pacific War: New Mexico A & M and the War with Japan and Hugh Meglone Milton: A Life Beyond Duty. Bettie and Walt, and a band of outdoor buddies, shared a keen interest in hiking, exploring, travel and cruising. He had an abiding love for NMSU, Aggie Athletics and Engineering. He received many awards for service from his alma mater, and wants to assure his Aggie friends that he went out wobbling and rooting for his Aggies.
Cremation has taken place. No formal services are planned at this time. Memorial donations may be made to the Hines Endowment Fund, on line at //giving.nmsu.edu/hines.html; by mail to NMSU Foundation, PO Box 3590, Las Cruces, NM 88003; or call 575-646-1613.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Funeral services provided by:
Cremation Society of New Mexico
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MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
Bettie, I am heartbroken to hear about Walt’s passing. May God comfort you and be with you during this difficult time. Walt and I were in grad school together and roomed together at one time. I loved him. He is very special. Warmest regards Ed
May 12, 2021
Walt was truly a great person to talk with. Especially about sports.
Unfortunately, he was always rooting for the wrong Aggies!
Glad he had an interesting life.
Stay strong Bettie.
May 11, 2021
Walt was always kind and extremely funny. He wrote the best Christmas letters ever. He will be sorely missed. Much love to his wife Bettie.
May 9, 2021
Walter and I had a shared passion for the geohydrology of the Rio Grande, and particularly for sustaining the groundwater resources of the Mesilla Valley area of southern New Mexico. My wife and I started our family in Las Cruces in 1962 when I worked out of the NMSU Ag College as a USDA collaborator. In those days the name "Hines" was associated with his dad Jerry's coaching prowess. Sadly, our last contact was in September 2018 when final plans were being made for memorial to his mentor Dr. John Hernandez. I was then in the midst of a long series of radiation treatments for a head-neck cancer condition; and it has only been in the past year that I have been able to return to my hydrogeologic research in the Mesilla Basin. COVID-19 restrictions, of course, have kept me homebound and unable to share ideas on Mesilla Valley aquifer restoration with Walter at least one more time. My heartfelt condolences to Bettie for the untimely loss of her beloved soulmate Walter.
May 9, 2021
Bettie We first met Walter on the Gila, NF and followed him for all of these years since. Dr's Hernandez and CQ Ford (our father) were especially close as they were a direct link. Glenn was also an Aggie engineer. We so appreciated Walter's connection to our family. To reacquaint and be with the both of you here in Abq was important. Please know that we hold you in our sincerest thoughts.
Martha - Glenn Ford
May 8, 2021
Eternal rest grant unto Walter, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen
May 7, 2021
Bettie although I didn’t know Walt personally, I do know you cherished him and your time together. I am so happy you had the past 10 years or so to travel and continue to participate in NMSU events and friends.
I am keeping you in my prayers. May each day less painful than they have been this past 8-10 months.
I miss you, former road warrior. Hugs.
May 7, 2021
Thoughts and prayers to you Bettie, Walter will be missed by all who knew and loved him. xo The Peers