William Louis Newman, 79, geologist for government...

March 05, 2000

William Louis Newman, 79, geologist for government

William Louis Newman, a retired geologist who sought uranium in the West after World War II, died Feb. 27 of congestive heart failure at the Levindale Hebrew Center and Hospital. He was 79 and lived at Oak Crest Village in Parkville.

A native of Rockford, Ill., Mr. Newman earned his bachelor's degree in geology from Beloit College in Wisconsin, where he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He served in the Army from 1942 to 1946 and was assigned to anti-aircraft surveillance in Seattle, where he met his wife, Lucille Mary Hagen.

The couple moved to her native Montana, where Mr. Newman studied at the Montana School of Mines while working as an assayer for the Anaconda mining company at its huge Butte Mines copper pit -- then billed as "the richest hill on Earth."

He had studied for two years at the University of Montana when he accepted the job with the U.S. Geological Survey that led to a 30-year career.

In 1950, the USGS dispatched him to the Colorado plateau -- an area covering several states in the Four Corners area of the American West -- to map deposits of uranium needed for nuclear reactions.

"They needed uranium, and they sent these guys out to find it," said his son, William D. Newman of Millersville. "He would get into an old dusty Jeep, and he had on old khakis and a hat like Indiana Jones, suntanned, with his Geiger counter, and head off cross country where there were no roads."

In 1957, Mr. Newman joined the USGS staff at the Department of the Interior in Washington, and later in Reston, where he was chief of its reporting division. He specialized in economic geology -- mapping key mineral reserves around the world and noting the political climates affecting these resources.

He edited several USGS publications, including "Cross Section" -- a collection of notes and vignettes from geologists around the world.

The couple lived in the Washington suburbs, but after Mr. Newman retired in 1980, they moved to Phoenix, Ariz.. They returned to Maryland in 1996.

Mr. Newman also enjoyed archaeology -- "anything to do with digging up the ground," said his son. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Sons of the American Revolution. He was tracing the family genealogy to document a connection with John Alden, who was among the Pilgrims who settled Plymouth Colony.

A funeral Mass for Mr. Newman was offered Thursday at Oak Crest Village, with burial at the Gate of Heaven in Silver Spring.

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Newman is survived by another son, Christopher Newman of Millersville; a sister, Marion A. Newman of Mount Vernon, Iowa; a brother, Lyle W. Newman of Albuquerque, N.M.; and five grandchildren.

Lionel Bergeron, 81, Westinghouse official

Lionel "Bucky" Bergeron, a retired Westinghouse Electric Co. superintendent, died Monday of cardiac arrest in Linthicum, his home for 38 years. He was 81.

A native of Chicopee, Mass., he was educated there and worked at a Westinghouse plant in Chicopee Falls. In 1939, he moved to Baltimore and lived with the family of his future wife, the former Yvonne Helen Brunelle. They married in 1940.

Mr. Bergeron began as a machinist and became a shop supervisor before moving into the industrial relations position in the 1960s, first at Washington Boulevard and later in Linthicum.

He worked 48 years for Westinghouse before retiring from its industrial relations department in 1986, Mrs. Bergeron said. For 22 years until his retirement, Mr. Bergeron was the company-wide superintendent of suggestions.

He enlisted in the Army and served from 1944 to 1946 as a sergeant in Korea. He was a member of American Legion Post No. 195 and of the Veterans Association of Westinghouse, of which he was president. Mr. Bergeron also was Scoutmaster for eight years for a troop at St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church.

A funeral Mass was offered Thursday at St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church, with burial with military honors at Meadowridge Memorial Park in Elkridge.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Bergeron is survived by two daughters, Louise "Cookie" Hickman of Kent Island and Elaine McGee of Harmans; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

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