Cover photo for Richard Wyman's Obituary
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1927 Richard 2019

Richard Wyman

February 22, 1927 — January 29, 2019

RICHARD VAUGHN WYMAN, 91, of Boulder City, passed away January 29, 2019. He was born February 22, 1927, in Painesville, Ohio, to Vaughn Ely and Melinda (Ward) Wyman. Richard had a long and amazingly productive life. He graduated from Harvey High School and joined the Navy in 1944, near the end of WWII. He served for a total of 7 years 3 months: 2 years 3 months in active duty, inactive reserve 5 years, as an Officer Candidate and deck hand on the fleet minesweeper USS Vigilance (AM-324). The USS Vigilance, based out of Pearl Harbor, operated in the Pacific theater-Philippines and Okinawa.

In 1946, using the GI Bill, he attended Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, where he met his future wife, Anne Fenton. Together, they attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, for their master’s degrees in geology. Their first child (Anne) was born there, but died in infancy.

After graduating at the University of Michigan in 1949, they went to Peru, where Richard worked for the Cerro de Pasco mining company and Anne taught school for the companies English speaking children, grades 1-12 in a one room school house. They spent three years in Peru and until his death, Peru remained one of Richard’s most treasured experiences. After returning to the U.S, Richard joined New Jersey Zinc Company in Prescott, Arizona where their son, William (Bill), was born. Richard left New Jersey Zinc to work for Western Gold and Uranium Inc. in St. George Utah, exploring and developing uranium mines in Utah and Arizona.

In 1963, Richard moved into a position as tunnel superintendent with Reynolds Electric & Engineering Co. (REECo), general contractor to the U.S. Department of Energy at the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada. Richard left REECo a year later to work for Sunshine Mining Company in Kellogg, Idaho. He worked as a mine engineer and as the tunnel superintendent during the construction of the New Exchequer Dam near Merced, California. In 1965, he returned to the Nevada Test Site as Assistant Manager for REECo, responsible for all underground construction until 1969.

In 1969, he was hired as one of the first three Engineering Professors at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Taking some time off in 1971, he obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Arizona, Tucson. He resumed his UNLV teaching career in 1972 and rejoined his wife Anne who became the first female Geology faculty member at UNLV in 1966, a position she held for 28 years. Richard retired from the Engineering Department at UNLV as Department Chairman in 1992 after 31 years.

Richard was active in many professional societies and received the Distinguished Member Award from the Society of Mining Engineers in 1989. He was recognized in the American Men and Women of Science, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the West, Who’s Who in Engineering and Who’s Who in Commerce and Industry. He was granted the title Emeritus Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering by the UNLV Board of Regents in 1992.

In a parallel career to teaching, Richard organized a mineral exploration company, Intermountain Exploration Co. which operated in the Southwest US until 1993. He evaluated mines and testified as an expert witness on water rights since 1980. He was still active in the mining business upon his death.

Richard and Anne were married for 61 years and traveled the world, visiting over 80 countries. Richard was fluent in Spanish and Anne was fluent in French and Spanish. Richard is preceded by his wife Anne Fenton (2009) and his daughter Anne (1947). Richard is survived by his son, William F. Wyman (Christina); and grandsons, Daniel and Joseph Wyman, and his great grandson Luke Christopher, all of Yelm, Wash.

There will be a memorial service at Grace Community Church in Boulder City, Saturday, 23 Feb. 2019, at 11 AM, with lunch in the fellowship hall/church basement following. The family wishes that donations be made to the Wyman Civil Engineering Scholarship, in his honor, at UNLV Foundation, P.O. Box 451006, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154. The Foundation may also be reached at (702) 895-3641, or online at Please sign an online guestbook at

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Starts at 11:00 am (Pacific time)

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