Residing Treasures Information:
The Residing Treasures of Los Alamos Board is saying the collection of three Los Alamos residents for the 2022 Residing Treasures recognition.
2022 Residing Treasures:
- KokHeong McNaughton;
- Sharon Snyder; and
- Patrick D. Soran.
The ceremony honoring the 2022 Treasures can be held this fall. As a consequence of COVID and seating restrictions, the ceremony can be by invitation solely.
The Biographies have been written by Kyle Wheeler and the Images have been taken by Jim O’Donnell.
Go to https://www.livingtreasureslosalamos.org for extra details about the Residing Treasures mission.
KokHeong McNaughton is a local of Malaysia, the place she grew up as one among six youngsters. Each mother and father labored two jobs, and the household endured laborious instances throughout post-World Battle II, in order that they discovered to be thrifty and to utilize all the things that they had. She met her husband when he got here to Malaysia to show. After their marriage, they moved to Britain, the place she studied microbiology and pc science on the College of London and achieved first-class honors. Within the early years of their marriage, once they visited Mike’s household in South Africa, the systemic inequality and injustice have been solely made extra apparent by the particular privileges that got here with a U.S. passport, all of which contributed to her lifelong ardour for social justice and her persevering with willpower to enhance it.
The McNaughtons moved to Los Alamos in 1975 with their daughter Jenni. A second daughter, Elizabeth, was born in Los Alamos, and McNaughton considers herself lucky that each her daughters, their husbands, and her 4 grandchildren all dwell in Los Alamos. When she arrived in Los Alamos, she appeared for a playgroup for child Jenni. Discovering none, she joined the Newcomer!s Membership and began a playgroup, which nonetheless meets as we speak. Her younger household joined the Unitarian Church in 1976, the place she discovered kindred spirits who shared her passions. The Unitarian Church is concerned in a variety of social motion packages and McNaughton has been lively in lots of and a pacesetter of a number of.
One of many first issues she missed upon shifting to Los Alamos was entry to Chinese language groceries so she inspired the supervisor of the native retailer to supply extra Asian merchandise for house cooking. She taught Asian cooking lessons from her house when the youngsters have been younger, and her college students would buy the groceries on the native retailer, offering the supervisor with a gradual client base. With pals from the neighborhood, she sponsored a Vietnamese refugee household who began an Asian restaurant right here. After an extended respite from educating Asian cooking lessons, she lately resumed this on Zoom since COVID began. She additionally began an Worldwide Friendship Membership, which matched visiting students with native households to show English as a second language in a house surroundings.
Whereas pregnant together with her first daughter, and nonetheless residing in California, she began doing Taiji, an historical Chinese language meditation and well being observe that she discovered from her father. A restore man who got here to her condo constructing noticed her and requested if she would train him Taiji. She assured him that she wasn’t a instructor, however agreed to attempt if he would get a bunch collectively, which he did. She later taught lessons at UC Davis, the Los Alamos YMCA, and Ghost Ranch within the early Nineteen Eighties. She nonetheless affords free lessons at Ashley Pond and any donations she receives she plows again into her work on the church.
McNaughton was distraught when Matthew Shepard was killed in Wyoming for being a homosexual man and so she and a few pals began a neighborhood chapter of PFLAG, and volunteered for the New Mexico Hate Crimes Hotline, the place she answered telephones. She turned a home violence responder and would go to households to assist the abused partner or function translator for these whose major language was Mandarin. She is the form of one who when she sees a necessity in the neighborhood that she thinks she will be able to fill, she doesn’t await anyone else to handle it. She steps up.
McNaughton is an avid gardener and along with her house backyard, the county gardens, and PEEC, she has devoted numerous hours to all phases of the work concerned in establishing a Meals Forest, which affords greens, fruits, herbs, and gardening classes to the Los Alamos neighborhood. She spearheaded the planning conferences, sources the vegetation, and promoted permaculture practices. The butterfly backyard and the “meadow,” which is alive in late summer time with asters, are a number of the stunning works that McNaughton deliberately nurtures. She wrote a month-to-month column referred to as “Sustainable Gardening Advocacy,” which mixed her passions for each gardening and sustainability. Many of those actions are rooted in her perception that high quality meals and exquisite areas are important to residing a great life, and sharing is the best way.
Throughout COVID, McNaughton noticed empty cabinets on the retailer and realized that folks couldn’t at all times get all of the meals they wanted. Together with her pals from the church, she launched Gaia’s Pantry (in honor of the Greek Goddess of Nature), a bear-proof pantry positioned on the church the place folks can donate or take meals as wanted. Just lately, a small fridge was added for perishable meals. This was an effort involving many individuals impressed by her dedication to tasks. McNaughton retains her eye on the pantry and makes positive it stays stocked with meals for anybody who desires to share somewhat or take what they want.
McNaughton believes in thrift, sharing with others, sustainable residing, and decreasing her impression on the surroundings. She drives a hybrid automobile however doesn’t journey a lot anymore and is blissful that her wants will be met within the first house she and her husband purchased and have lived in since 1979, within the communities she turned deeply concerned in, and within the wealthy number of Los Alamos, the place she leads a balanced life and takes delight in combining American tradition and English language together with her Malaysian and Chinese language traditions and language. McNaughton has philosophies from Chinese language and American cultures that she has woven all through her life and which have benefited the neighborhood. She is the primary to acknowledge, nevertheless, that if you happen to don’t have assist from different folks, your ardour gained’t flower. She has a variety of pals in the neighborhood, and collectively they make issues occur.
Pat Soran has been a devoted volunteer in Los Alamos and the encompassing communities for over 25 years. He has been very beneficiant together with his time, his experience, his expertise, and his monetary assets. He has been a pacesetter and an inspiration to many others by way of his work.
He and his spouse, Diane, first moved to Los Alamos in 1972 with their two youngsters, David and Denise. The primary ten years have been spent working on the laboratory, elevating youngsters, and constructing a house on evenings and weekends. Across the time the youngsters have been in center college, Soran was lured to Houston by the oil business. Nonetheless, after just a few years the oil business went right into a melancholy, Soran had alternatives to return to Los Alamos or be part of the laboratory at Livermore, California. Since Soran and Diane had uprooted the youngsters earlier, they determined to allow them to decide the place the household ought to transfer subsequent. They selected Livermore due to its proximity to Oakland and the Bay Space.
In 1992, Soran and Diane, by then empty nesters, returned to Los Alamos and resumed work on the lab. Sadly, inside just a few years Diane turned sick and handed in 1996. Following that devastating loss, Soran discovered it troublesome to work and determined to become involved in volunteer actions with non-profit organizations. One of many first issues he did was be part of the native Kiwanis Membership, a corporation devoted to service. In the meantime, donations in Diane’s reminiscence grew, so Soran and the youngsters determined they need to use the cash to enhance the San Ildefonso park the place the children performed once they have been younger. Soran contacted the county’s Parks Division, which offered design experience and had entry to suppliers, and used the donated cash to buy new playground gear. Working with volunteers from Kiwanis, the San Ildefonso tot lot was repaired and rebuilt. After finishing the San Ildefonso tot lot rebuild, Soran decided that the opposite 15 tot tons within the county had not been upgraded for over 30 12 months. These “little jewels” within the neighborhood wanted upgrading and over a interval of ten years, Soran, together with LAC Employees, Kiwanis and volunteers from the county who labored on their Saturdays, have been capable of improve all of them.
Every year, Kiwanis hosts a breakfast with Santa, and for 25 years, Soran was Santa. He discovered early to not eat or drink after midnight the evening earlier than due to the issues of coping with the Santa go well with and sitting all morning with dozens of children on his lap. He regrets that he didn’t write down a number of the tales the youngsters informed Santa, Youngsters do say superb issues.
Throughout this time, Soran heard a few program referred to as Lunch Buddies, which pairs adults with elementary college age youngsters for lunch and dialog. A drug-prevention program, Lunch Buddies identifies younger individuals who want somewhat steerage in life. Soran wished to start out a program right here, and the lady who launched this system to him, Dena DiGanghi, had funding from a supply in northern New Mexico. Soran enlisted the assist of the colleges and was capable of get a grant of $10,000 from the LANL Basis, which lined stipends for the college counselors. Over 5 years, this system grew from just some adults to over 120; matching the adults with the youngsters and managing this system turned nearly a full-time job, so it was turned over to Massive Brothers/Massive Sisters.
In 1998, Soran married Ann Hayes, one other lab worker with grown youngsters, and so they each retired on the identical day in 1999. Ann’s daughter, Dr. Leslie Hayes, a doctor in Española, requested Soran to become involved with the Disaster Heart of Northern New Mexico, so he joined the board of administrators and served for about ten years, seven of which he was president of the board. The expertise opened his eyes to home violence. Nonetheless, he reached some extent the place it was too emotionally draining and he was in search of one thing extra peaceable.
Ann and Soran had at all times participated within the United Method of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM) each on the Lab and as retirees. In 2014, they have been requested to co-chair the annual marketing campaign. Fairly than serving on the board, they participated in that 12 months’s program assessment. Kristy Ortega, the UWNNM govt director at the moment, organized visits to every of the companies looking for funds. These visits and subsequent program critiques introduced the wants and efforts of the non-profits within the northern New Mexico communities. An essential lesson from this system critiques and visitations was the dearth of sustainability of the non-profits.
Whereas doing program critiques for United Method, Soran met Cindy Rooney, who was not but the chancellor at UNM-LA. UNM-LA was struggling financially, and so they wished to ask the voters to approve a mil levy, so Cindy recruited Soran to assist. The trouble in 2013 failed, to the nice disappointment of all concerned, however they didn’t quit, and in 2017 a second request was handed by the voters. Its success has helped maintain the native campus. Soran additionally served on UNM-LA’s Advisory Board from 2016 till 2019. He inspired employees, impressed college students, and attended occasions on campus, usually attending the graduation occasions. When he found that UNM_LA didn’t have a graduation mace for commencement he designed and crafted the one that’s in use as we speak. Ann and Soran began an endowment with the Los Alamos Group Basis to learn UNM-LA, which they imagine is a valuable asset in Los Alamos.
For the previous 25 years, Soran has been the “chief pyrotechnic” for the Kiwanis Fourth of July fireworks present at Overlook Park, an enormous draw for the neighborhood. He coordinated the Federal licensing and acquisition of the fireworks, helped program the present, and guided the setup on the day of the occasion. Just lately, Soran and the 2 different males who’ve labored by his aspect over time have determined to let youthful folks take over the fireworks to allow them to loosen up and benefit from the fireworks.
When the Los Alamos Group Basis was fashioned, Soran noticed a chance to assist maintain the neighborhood’s non-profits. He mentioned the chances with David Izraelevitz and was requested to hitch the board. Soran has performed a key function within the progress of the group, committing his time, vitality, and expertise to the muse. That is Soran’s ardour now to verify the neighborhood is conscious of the LA Group Basis, its good works, and to make sure its continued progress.
Soran additionally mows the grass on the county golf course. He wished to do it as a volunteer, however the county doesn’t enable that, so he works half time and donates the majority of his wage to the Group Basis. His early morning garden mowing provides him an opportunity to commune with the deer and coyotes and benefit from the outside.
Soran believes that you are able to do a variety of issues if you happen to don’t care who will get the credit score, an thought he attributes to the late President Ronald Reagan. “This neighborhood has been good to me,” Soran says, so his purpose is to depart a legacy to the Los Alamos Group Basis so his assets can proceed to do good work for the neighborhood.
Snyder Snyder has had an extended affiliation with Los Alamos, having moved right here together with her household when she was nearly 13 years outdated. Her household was one among 5 households that moved right here from Texas when machinist jobs have been being in the reduction of within the oil business in Texas, however the laboratory in Los Alamos was hiring machinists. So Snyder moved right here as a part of a prepared made neighborhood, and in reunions with the youngsters from the opposite households, they mirrored that the transfer to Los Alamos was probably the greatest issues that occurred to them.
From the start, she was fascinated with the fascinating buildings and other people of this neighborhood. She was intrigued by the houses and occupants of Bathtub Row. Throughout her senior 12 months in highschool she wrote an English paper concerning the Ranch College and wrote columns for the Los Alamos Monitor, the place she interned for the house owners, the McMahon’s, who taught her the fundamentals of journalism. She majored in journalism on the College of New Mexico, the place Tony Hillerman, one among her professors, honed her expertise as a author and inspired storytelling.
With levels in training and journalism, Snyder turned a instructor within the Albuquerque Public Colleges. She additionally has levels in English, well being, and social research, so along with being a instructor, she can also be a lifelong learner. Within the intervening years, whereas her profession unfolded in Albuquerque, she by no means misplaced her love of Los Alamos. A life-changing occasion occurred when, serving to a pal pack up her home, she discovered the guide, Footprints, by Peggy Pond Church, daughter of Ashley Pond, who began the Los Alamos Ranch College. As a substitute of packing, Snyder sat down and skim the whole guide. Sharing the tales of the folks and locations of Los Alamos historical past turned a life-long ardour.
In 2002, whereas nonetheless residing in Rio Rancho and due to her ongoing curiosity in Los Alamos historical past, she joined the board of the Los Alamos Historic Society. Every month she drove to Los Alamos to take part within the conferences. Following her retirement in 20XX, Snyder moved again to Los Alamos and have become a full-time volunteer as publications director of the Historic Society, along with her different duties on the board. Snyder is now the longest serving member of the board.
In 2012, Snyder launched Bathtub Row Press, the society’s publishing home, which has introduced many books concerning the neighborhood’s diverse historical past to life. Typically the books revealed underneath the imprint are written by Los Alamos natives, and underneath Snyder’s management and her outreach efforts, Bathtub Row Press has change into well-known. As well as, Snyder is a author and editor with the “soul and pure expertise of a poet,” in accordance with Hedy Dunn, director emerita of the Historic Society. She wrote a guide concerning the lifetime of Peggy Pond Church referred to as At Dwelling on the Slope of the Mountains. In accordance with Dunn, Snyder understood that the story of the person can’t be informed and not using a full understanding of the setting, and Snyder’s poetic writing type succeeded in capturing the essence of each Peggy and the land she cherished. Snyder has devoted pals inside the Ashley Pond household. She a lot regrets that Tony Hillerman, who gave her recommendation throughout the writing of the guide, didn’t dwell to see its publication.
Snyder co-authored with Toni Michnovicz Gibson an illustrated guide, Los Alamos and the Pajarito Plateau, which captures photographs and legacies of the previous. She has edited 10 books for Bathtub Row Press, edited articles from the society for its quarterly e-newsletter, and written many articles for the Los Alamos Each day Publish. She really is the “storytelling historian of the Pajarito Plateau,” in accordance with Cherie Trottier, the present president of the board of the Historic Society.
In all probability the biggest activity Snyder has tackled up to now is orchestrating the publication of a two quantity guide written by the laboratory’s former director, Siegfried Hecker. She oversaw the modifying of dozens of articles by American and Russian scientists, and was concerned in each side of the guide’s manufacturing. She was the driving pressure behind each side of the manufacturing of this extremely acclaimed guide, which has additionally been used as a college textbook.
In September 2017, the Historic Society was planning to have fun the 100-year anniversary of the Ranch College, and there was an curiosity in contacting as many alumni as potential to see if they might be involved in attended a reunion. Snyder wished to seek out out if any of the “boys” have been nonetheless alive (by then they might be fairly aged) and the best way to contact them or their residing family. She was involved in how the time they spent on the Ranch College affected their youth and the trajectory of their lives. Snyder reached out to Bob Hicks, one other one who grew up in Los Alamos however who has lived elsewhere for a few years. Hicks has a knack for on-line analysis and family tree and a particular curiosity in Los Alamos historical past and was keen to do analysis remotely. He helped Snyder observe down as most of the 550 “misplaced boys” as potential (250 of the alumni served in WWII and 9 didn’t return). Out of that effort, just a few of the alumni and their households participated within the reunion, and Snyder earned their friendship and respect. The biographies of those males is an ongoing analysis mission.
20 years into her service on the board, Snyder’s workload by no means appears to decrease. She has change into the de-facto creator and editor-in-chief. Below Snyder’s management and due to her outreach efforts, Bathtub Row Press has blossomed. In 2018, she was named Volunteer of the 12 months by the New Mexico Affiliation of Museums. Snyder has made Los Alamos historical past come alive for untold numbers of readers and has documented a lot of our historical past for future generations.