A remembrance of those who left us in the past twelve months
Lloyd Erwin passed away on July 19 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Lloyd had been an active member of TAS and the North Texas Archeological Society for almost 22 years. He was a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, after which he had a distinguished career with Lockheed Martin. Lloyd was an extremely cordial, positive person, and he will be missed by everyone who had the good fortune to have known him.
Alvin Ray Lynn
Alvin Ray Lynn passed away August 27, 2020. The third of nine, he was born October 14, 1938, at Four Corners, east of Whiteflat, Motley County, Texas.
In 1961, Alvin graduated from West Texas State College in Canyon with a BS in geology. He earned his MS from West Texas State University in 1975. Alvin spent over thirty years of his life teaching physical science to ninth grade students and he devoted hours and hours of time and resources to Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, civic clubs, schools, and organizations.
Alvin wrote numerous scientific papers and was a contributing author to 100 Moore Years: A History of Moore County, Texas. He spent three years working on the Red River War Project. He located the trail taken by Kit Carson in 1864 on his winter campaign to fight the Kiowas and Comanches at Adobe Walls. In 2014, after researching for fifteen years, Texas Tech University Press published Alvin’s award-winning book, Kit Carson and the First Battle of Adobe Walls - A Tale of Two Journeys.
Alvin received the 2019 Curtis D. Tunnell Lifetime Achievement Award in Archeology from the Texas Historical Commission. He also recently received the “Norman Flaigg Honorable Mention” award for outstanding performance for THC Stewards on Aug. 1, 2020 for the North Texas Region. He received his 30-year TAS membership certificate in 2019. He was a volunteer at PPHM and member of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, taking to heart the quote of Hattie Anderson founder, “It is the sacred duty of ours to collect the record of life here and hand this on to the children of the future.”
Solveig Astrid Turpin
Solveig Astrid Turpin (nee Skramstad), 83, born in Waseca, Minnesota on August 31, 1936, passed away in San Antonio, Texas on July 17, 2020.
Solveig and family lived in Minneapolis and Chicago before moving to San Antonio. She began her undergraduate studies at St. Olaf's College, but her formal intellectual pursuits were subsumed by her family until 1974, when she divorced and moved to Austin. She still had three of her children at home, and, on a graduate student salary, raised them while completing her B.A., followed by a PhD in Anthropology at the University of Texas.
She spent decades finding and recording rock art in the Texas and northern Mexico deserts with her partner Herbert Eling, her son Jeff, and many graduate students and avocational archeologists. Her research has been published in hundreds of articles and bilingual and color-plated books, including The Rock Art of Coahuila, and presented at international and regional conferences. Her many awards included recognition by the International Rock Art Congress in Oaxaca, Mexico (2016) and the Texas Historical Commission and University Lands (2017) for her seminal contributions to archaeology.
Solveig was a strict, energetic, and disciplined researcher, whose trips into deserts, canyons, hills and mountains in west Texas and Mexico with Dr. Eling (in his various ancient Land Rovers) can only be described as legendary. These trips also piqued her interest in an early twentieth century Mexican scandal, about which she wrote the biography, The Hillcoat Murders.
Her legacy will live on in her foundational, ground-breaking research and in the hearts and minds of her colleagues.
Evans Turpin passed away on March 20 at the age of 85. Evans was a member of TAS for 32 years and also served as a Steward for the Texas Historical Commission. He was a retired petroleum engineer who lived for years in Iraan, where he had served as Mayor and was an extremely active member of the Iraan Archeological Society.
Bert L. Speed
Bert Speed passed away in Sulphur, Oklahoma on December 30, 2019 at the age of 89. Bert attended Texas Tech University, and after serving in the Army he received a Master of Science degree in geology from Texas Tech. He worked as a field geologist in Venezuela before starting a 32-year career with the National Park Service. He became a member of TAS in 1955 and later became a Life Member.
Richard L. (Dick) Gregg
Dick Gregg was born and raised in Nevada, Ohio. This brilliant man received his BEE in 1964, M.SC in 1964 and his PhD in 1968 all from Ohio State University, in electrical engineering. He was employed as a geophysicist with Shell Research and Development, but Dick’s true passion was archeology.
Dick joined the Texas Archeological Society (TAS) in 1970 shortly after moving to Texas. He was an active member of not only the TAS but also the Fort Bend Archeological Society, the Brazosport Archeological Society as a founding member, and the Houston Archeological Society where he served as the editor of the HAS Newsletter for over 30 years and as president from 1977 – 1979.
In 1984 Dick was invited to be one of the first 10 members of the Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Archeological Stewards Network and continued to serve as an active member until he moved back to Ohio in 2016.
Few avocational archeologists have dedicated more of their time and unique skills to archeological projects in southeast Texas.
Jack Raymond Skiles
Jack Raymond Skiles, 89, of Langtry and Midland, passed away on August 5, 2020. Wilmuth, the love of his life and wife of 68 years, was at his side. Jack was born March 20, 1931 in Del Rio, Texas and lived his childhood at Langtry, Texas. He attended Sul Ross State University where he obtained a B.S. degree in 1952 and M.A. degree in 1953.
He began his career as a science teacher and junior high principal at Rankin. He was curator of the Sandhills Museum in Monahans for several years. Jack served as superintendent of schools at Paint Rock and Balmorhea before returning to Langtry in 1968. He was the first manager of the Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center, serving for eighteen years. He returned to school administration as superintendent of Comstock schools from 1987 through 1991. During his years in Langtry he raised sheep and goats, and wrote the book Judge Roy Bean Country, a history of the Langtry area.
Jack was passionate about archeology and was recognized by the Texas Historical Commission for preservation of archeological sites on the family ranch. The Shumla Archeological Research & Education Center, located in Comstock, recognized Jack and his family as their 2020 Stewards of the Year.
Jack Harrington was a staunch friend of TAS, archeology and especially rock art in the Del Rio-Comstock area. Jack passed away February 20, 2020 after a long illness.
Jack and his wife Missy were instrumental in helping to launch Texas rock art into the public eye. Professional and avocational archeologists, college students, and public-school students have benefitted from Jack and Missy’s generous donation of land for the Shumla campus near Comstock and near the now world-famous White Shaman rock art site. Jack washed dishes and helped cook in the large Shumla kitchen, graded the dirt road to the Shumla campus, burned cactus thorns, recorded rock art sites, caught rattlesnakes, and helped teach archeological skills to school students from Comstock, Del Rio, Houston, and Mexico.
Jack was a true friend of Texas archeology and TAS. He will be missed.