In Memoriam –– Richard (Dick) Kondo
ALAMOGORDO, N.M.––Dick Kondo, 94, former president of New Mexico UM Men and a scout leader, died April 18.
Dick also served as president of UM Men at Grace UMC in Alamogordo and a scoutmaster of Troop 147.
During the ten years he served as scoutmaster, he received Wood Badge training at Philmont Scout Ranch, and he saw many young men achieve the rank of Eagle. He received the Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts of America and the Cross & Flame Award from the New Mexico Conference.
“Dick was a great friend to me, and was the guy who invited me to New Mexico, which is the basis for the work that is continuing there now.” Said Gil Hanke, top staff executive of the General Commission on UM Men. “He was a gentle soul, and a great supporter of our work.”
Dick was born on July 20, 1925 in Puukolii, Maui, Hawaii to Tomezo and Yoki Kondo.
In 1943 he graduated from Lahainaluna High School and soon thereafter joined the Army. He served primarily in Tokyo for three years. When he returned to Hawaii, he worked at various jobs before deciding to attend college. He met and married Teru Tokunaga and they left for Chicago where he studied electronic engineering under the G.I. Bill. Upon completion of his degree, he was hired as an electronic engineer at the White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico.
Work at the missile range
He was assigned to Oscura Range Camp, then to North Oscura, later to Stallion site before being sent to Holloman and then to White Sands Missile Range. He became chief of the Radar Department and it was during those years that he was involved in the Apollo moon program and saw Neil Armstrong land on the moon. After 25 years, he retired from White Sands Missile Range. After leaving the range, he worked for RCA on Kauai in Hawaii.
Volunteer service with UMC
After his final retirement he joined the Volunteers in Mission of the UMC. He worked in the Four Corners area before going to Chile and Bolivia to help build schools and churches. Later his VIM work took him to Texas, Missouri and Florida.
All his life he was an avid outdoorsman and loved to hunt, fish and camp. New Mexico proved to be the ideal "playground" for him.
Dick is survived by his wife Terry, son Steve (Betty), daughter Patricia, grandchildren Danielle (Michael), Zana, Nidal, Lexie and Jordan.