Lester Kyle "Les" or "LK" Aldrich II, son of Harry Lamar "Lamar" (1906-1972) and Thora Belle (Campbell) (1909-2001) Aldrich, was born 1 December 1936, Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio. Les lost his 1 year old baby sister, Barbara Ann, in 1941, Shelby County, Ohio. In 1943 the Aldrich's had another child, a girl, whom they named Mary Lou.
Les graduated in 1954 from Okemos High School. He went on to a career in the US Army and furthered his education with a Master's Degree in Nuclear Engineering from North Carolina State University. In 1956 he married Shirley Elizabeth Melton and they had 49 years and 4 children together while moving across the US from Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Idaho and finally to Washington state.
Shirley, born 1 June 1937 succumbed to cancer 10 August 2005. Les, who retired in 2001 after a brilliant many-faceted career, succumbed to heart failure 29 December 2006, Richland, Benton County, Washington. Les and Shirley were interred Sunset Memorial Gardens, Richland.
Published in Tri-City Herald on Jan. 3, 2007
Lester Kyle Aldrich, II of Richland, Washington, was born in Columbus, Ohio, on December 1, 1936. He went to be with the Lord on December 29, 2006, as a result of congestive heart failure. Les was raised in Ohio and Michigan, and graduated from Okemos High School in Michigan. He met and married the love of his life, Shirley Melton, in 1956. They were married for 49 years until her death in 2005. They lived in Virginia, Michigan, Maryland, North Carolina, and Idaho. Les and his family settled in Richland in 1979.
Les served in the Army for seventeen years and was a member of the Army Rifle Team and Marksmanship Training Unit until his honorable discharge. Les graduated from North Carolina State University NCSU with a Masters Degree in Nuclear Engineering after his military service. While at NCSU, Les coached all of the university rifle teams, including the NCSU Rifle Team which was ranked the number one non-scholarship college rifle team in the nation for several years. Les also coached the Acorns Jr. Rifle Team in Washington D.C. while he was stationed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia and the Idaho Falls, Idaho, rifle teams while living there. Les was civically minded and was active in many organizations, including: The Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award, Mensa, National Rifle Association life member, Republican Party State Convention Representative, Gideon's, Walk to Emmaus including the Chrysalis Program, and the Gospel Lights a music ministry. Les was most recently involved with his family, community, church, and other charitable organizations.
Les worked as a professional nuclear engineer in North Carolina, Idaho, and in Washington. As a Certified Heath Physicist, he worked at Hanford for the last twenty-two years until he retired in 2001. Les consulted privately for various governmental organizations until his death. He chaired the Part 1 Panel of Examiners of the American Board of Health Physics, the Continuing Education Committee of the American Academy of Health Physics, and the Health Physics Society Standards Committee Working Group on Radiation Protection Terminology. As a 'Fellow' of the Health Physics Society, he was also the International Standards Organization's United States Representative for radiation terminology.
Les was a former member of Central United Protestant Church in Richland and the Faith Assembly Church in Pasco, Washington. For the past twelve years, Les was a faithful servant at Bethel Church, Richland, where he served as an usher, a coach for the Second Wind, and was on the Missions Commission. He had a wonderful tenor voice and played banjo, mandolin, and guitar. Les played and sang at many church events and in retirement homes. He never slowed down and never wavered in his commitment to lead others to his Lord, Jesus Christ. His servant heart and unconditional love inspired every person he met. The twinkle in his eyes and his warm smile will be greatly missed by all that knew and loved him.
Les is survived by his children, Robert Charles Aldrich of Tulsa Oklahoma, Ann Martin Lambel of Richland Washington, Diane Marty Schweikert of Richland Washington, Linda Urias of Phoenix Arizona; thirteen grand-children: Lester III and Robert II Aldrich of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Kyle Aldrich-Lambel and Mary Lambel of Richland Washington, Bryn Tom Smith of Portland Oregon; Kisha Schweikert Ronnie of Coulee Dam Washington; Jennifer Schweikert Gio and Stephanie James Sams of Clarkston Washington; Deidra John Lybarger of Sandy Oregon; and Cynthia Schweikert, Kelsie, Kailee, and Jaimee Urias of Phoenix Arizona; and great-grandchildren: Malcolm and Madisyn of Coulee Dam Washington; Danae and Gio of Clarkston Washington; and Noah of Sandy Oregon. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lamar and Thora Aldrich; his sister, Marylou Aldrich Harn; and his loving wife, Shirley Melton Aldrich.
A Celebration of his life will be held at Bethel Church, at the corner of Keene and Shockley Roads, Richland, Washington, on Saturday, January 6th, 2006, at 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the American Heart Association, 140 S. Arthur St. Ste. 610, Spokane, WA 99202.
HPS Specialists in Radiation Protection:
In Memoriam: Lester Kyle Aldrich II, CHP
by Ron Kathren, CHP, and Dale Denham, CHP
The health physics community lost one of its stalwarts with the passing of Les Aldrich from congestive heart failure at age 70 on 29 December 2006 at his home in Richland, Washington. Les grew up in Ohio and Michigan and enjoyed an early career of 17 years in the U.S. Army, where he served with distinction as a member of the Army Rifle Team and Marksmanship Training Unit until his honorable discharge. After his military service, Les enrolled at North Carolina State University (NCSU), where he earned a master's degree in nuclear engineering. While at NCSU, Les coached all of the university rifle teams, including the NCSU Rifle Team that was ranked the number one nonscholarship college rifle team in the nation for several years. Les also coached the Acorns Junior Rifle Team in Washington, DC, while he was stationed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and the Idaho Falls, Idaho, rifle teams while living there.
Les spent most of his 22-year professional career in health physics at Hanford, retiring in 2001. After his retirement, he continued to consult for various organizations until his death. A certified health physicist, he served the profession in a number of important ways, devoting countless hours to serving on the Part II Panel of Examiners and chairing the Part I Panel of Examiners of the American Board of Health Physics, serving as a director of the American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP) and on the Continuing Education Committee of the AAHP, and serving on the Health Physics Society Standards Committee Working Group on Radiation Protection Terminology. He was also the International Standards Organization United States Representative for radiation terminology. Quite appropriately, his contributions were recognized by election to Fellow class membership in the Society.
Les was a deeply religious, civic-minded man and active in many organizations outside the profession, including the Boy Scouts of America (which honored him with its prestigious Silver Beaver Award), Mensa, the National Rifle Association (life member), the Republican Party (State Convention Representative), Gideons International, Walk to Emmaus (including the Chrysalis Program), and the Gospel Lights (a music ministry). He did much behind the scenes to enrich people's lives and to serve both his profession and community.
A fixture at the annual meetings, Les and Shirley, his late wife of 49 years who died in 2005, will be missed by their many friends and colleagues in the Society. Those who knew them will recall the gentle Shirley serving as a counterpoint to the gruff and ofttimes provocative and thought-provoking and occasionally contentious Les, who behind this external façade was an equally sensitive and caring individual who strove for perfection in health physics and in all he did and who served as mentor and positive influence to many a newcomer in the field (as well as to some of us older types).