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William J. “Bill” Hallett passed away Sunday, July 28, 2013, at his home, with Marjorie “Jerry,” his loving wife of 70 years, by his side.
He was 90 years old, born April 12, 1923, in Rock Springs, Wyo. He attended the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he met his bride and graduated with his degree in chemical engineering. He was subsequently hired to work on the Manhattan project in Oak Ridge, Tenn., from 1944 to 1950. He moved from chemical to nuclear engineering. In 1950, he moved to California, eventually to Simi. There, he was very active in the Methodist Church and was elected to the school board. In 1962, he was one of four men selected by the Department of Energy to spend a year in France as a consultant to their nuclear research staff for a sodium-cooled nuclear power plant. He worked for Atomics International until 1968. He then moved to Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, where he later became division director of the group doing environment impact statements. The DOE required these before a new atomic reactor could be constructed. His group was responsible for writing the report on the Three Mile Island accident. His last assignment was in Washington, D.C.
He soon decided he wasn’t having any fun, so he retired at age 63. His residence in Virginia was an apartment overlooking the Mall. In 1989, the couple moved to Pagosa Springs and into a beautiful home designed by their architect son, David. He and wife Chris and daughter Helen and her husband Cliff Warren were in Pagosa during his last days. Another daughter, Carolyn Kortangen, resides in California.
Bill was preceded in death by daughter Kathy Rembert. He was host father to three foreign students. His sister Florence Hirt, age 99, lives in Monterey Park, Calif. Grandchildren include Jared and Josh Hallett, Veronica Kortangen, Mark and Timothy Rembert, Lydia Donley and Steve Rembert, deceased. There are eight great-grandchildren.
Mr. Hallett’s ashes will be interred in the Hallett family plot at Fairmount Cemetery in Denver. His grandfather, William L. Hallett, settled in Colorado Springs in 1880 and then built the first home in Estes Park called Edgemont, which is now a national preservation house. Because he guided mountain climbers, Hallett Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park bears his name.