Wally Holm, 90, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019.
He grew up on the south side of Chicago in one of the most violent neighborhoods in the city, graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School and joined the Air Force during the Korean conflict. After his discharge, he met his future wife, Ellen, and they were married for 68 years.
He attended the University of Illinois and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. After graduating they moved to Los Angeles where he was employed by North American Aviation and helped develop the X-15 rocket plane and the Atlas rocket engine. It was there that he established and operated a cryogenic laboratory which led to him to a new job in Las Vegas, Nevada where he supervised a cryogenic laboratory and helped conduct nuclear tests. At one point, they dropped nuclear bombs down 10,000-foot holes and detonated them.
In 1964 he moved to Las Cruces, NM to work as the Superintendent of Cryogenics and Propellants at the Apollo Test Site at White Sands Missile Range where they tested the Lunar Command Module for the moon landing. Upon completion of the Apollo moon project, he and his family moved to Roswell where he served as an instructor of electronics at ENMU-R. He continued to live in Roswell until his death.
During his years in Roswell he worked for Holsum Bakery where he served as Chief Engineer, and he was the Director of the Physical Plant at ENMU-R where he worked until his retirement. He served as an Elder at the South Main Church of Christ for many years, and was a member of the Crossings Ministry, a Christian-based organization ministering to inmates at the Roswell Correctional Center. He loved studying the Word of God, was a scholar of the Bible and could often be found conducting Bible studies.
He is survived by his three children, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. A service for family and friends will take place at Compass Church, 1512 S. Main St. in Roswell at 2 p.m.