Retired HPWD Geologist Don McReynolds of Tyler passed away Aug. 24. He was 77.
Don was born in December 1942 in Weatherford, TX. After attending Tarleton State College at Stephenville, he served in the United States Army from 1967-1969. Most of his military service was with a missile unit in Germany. He later attended Texas Tech University, where he received a B.S. in Geology in 1970.
He began his career with HPWD in March 1971. As a staff geologist, McReynolds provided geohydrologic mapping of various aspects of the Ogallala Formation within the HPWD service area.
This included development of base of the aquifer maps for a county or portion of county within the district—based upon data from more than 10,000 wells. From these data, maps were constructed for use in the district’s hydrologic atlas series.
As Technical Division Director, he supervised the annual depth-to-water level measurement program in a network of more than 1,200 privately-owned observation wells.
McReynolds also constructed yearly groundwater decline maps used to support thousands of landowners’ claims each year for a cost-in-water income tax depletion allowance
In addition, he also monitored several groundwater quality issues throughout his career -- including the U.S. Department of Energy’s intention in the 1980s to “characterize” a site in Northwestern Deaf Smith County as a possible depository for high-level nuclear waste. Armed with technical information from the district, state/federal legislators and area residents were able to persuade Congress to stop characterization studies at the proposed site.
He retired Sept. 30, 2009 after 38 years of dedicated service to HPWD residents.
Survivors include his wife, Nancy, son Kyle, daughter, Emily Mueller, sister Pam Olson, and two grandchildren. The HPWD Board of Directors and staff send their sincere condolences to the McReynolds family on the loss of our longtime colleague.