WorldWide Drilling Resource

20 FEBRUARY 2021 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® In Memoriam Robert W. “Bob” Mielke (1941~2020) After a long illness, Robert W. “Bob” Mielke left this life on November 28, 2020. He was courageous and maintained his sense of humor until the end, never missing an opportunity to give a good-natured teasing. Born in Wausau, Wisconsin, Bob enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Germany. After returning to the States, he built a successful career selling tires, cars, and well drilling equipment. He eventually opened his own company and travelled throughout the U.S. as a consultant for Boart Longyear. He was very active in the Elks Club, dedicating much of his time to volunteer service. He also collected pop tops for the Ronald McDonald House charity and made many donations to support them. Bob is survived by his wife Marilyn; five stepchildren; and eight grandchildren. Frank Fulton Aplan (1923~2020) Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Penn State University, Frank Fulton Aplan passed away November 3, 2020. Born in Colorado, he was raised in Fort Pierre, South Dakota, during the depression, drought, and plague of grasshoppers of the 1930s. He entered the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T) in 1941, but his education was interrupted by the U.S. Army in 1942. Frank returned to SDSM&T upon his discharge in 1946, earning a degree in metallurgical engineering in 1948. He also earned a degree from Montana Tech, then worked several years as an assistant professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. In 1957, Frank received his doctorate from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In total, he served for 15 years in industry, working for five companies in the mining, metallurgical, and chemical industries. Although Frank retired in 1992, he continued teaching and researching for the next decade, specializing in ore and coal processing and environmental pollution control. He was very proud of the nearly 50 graduate degree students he supervised over the years. His other interests included histories of mining in the Western U.S., railroads, and the U.S. military. He was also a fan of jazz and big band music. He was active in the professional groups - Society of Mining Engineers, The Metallurgical Society, and American Chemical Society. He was an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering and honorary member of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers - with their Aplan award named in his honor. Frank is survived by his children Susan, Peter, and Lucy; grandchildren Jillian, Kurt, Kyle, Melissa, and Teresa; and great- grandchildren Hailey, Emma, Declan, and Ian. He was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Clare. Hans Olaf Pfannkuch (1932~2020) Just five days short of his 88th birthday, Hans Olaf Pfannkuch passed away on November 19, 2020. Birthdays weren’t about him, but an excuse to be with friends and family, to share his love of good food and conversation, making sure wine glasses were never empty. Hans was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1932, growing up in a place and time that clearly shaped his view of the world, instilling a deep understanding of what mattered in life. He loved the arts, humor, science, deep and creative thinking, and travel. Had he not walked into the Sorbonne office to collect his scholarship fund while earning his doctorate, he would never have met Georgette, who married him despite his difficult last name. With two young kids in tow and one on the way, they sailed to the U.S. in 1965. As a professor at the University of Minnesota for 42 years, he was a distinguished expert in his field of hydrogeology, and respected worldwide. He was also the first McEllhiney Lecturer, travelling the country giving the presentation “Pump Tests for Practical People” in 2001. Hans is survived by his daughters Karin (Steve) and Barbara (Dan); son Johannes (JoBeth); and grandchildren Isabelle, Josephine, Ingrid, and Max. Jimmy Wayne “Jim” Bradberry (1941~2020) Jimmy Wayne “Jim” Bradberry of Iowa Park, Texas, passed from this life on December 3, 2020, holding hands with his wife Karen Sue. Jim and Sue met when they were sophomores in high school. He worked for W. D. Vestal Oil Company for over 30 years, even building a drill rig from the ground up. Later, he went in business as Bradberry Drilling Company, then established Bradberry Oil Company, retiring in 2013. He enjoyed showing his kids and grandkids the skills he had learned like baiting a hook, shooting a gun, field dressing a deer, changing a tire or the oil, to make sure they were able to take care of themselves. Jimmy is survived by Sue; his children Timmy (Amy), Charles (Pepper), Penny (Brent), and Cherrie; grandchildren Ava, Morgan, Meghan, Mason, Saydie, and Jack; and great-granddaughter Myleigh, born just steps away while he was in the hospital a few months ago. The management and staff of WWDR extend their condolences to these gentlemen’s family, friends, and former colleagues. Lest we forget . . .

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