Here we recognize some industry friends who recently have passed away.

Darrell Dake

Darrell Dake, MGWC, of Burleson, Texas, passed away August 28, 2006.

Dake, age 75, was born in Mountain Grove, Mo. He served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, where he attained the rank of general. He retired from the Texas State Guard after 15 years of service, and worked for FEMA and Homeland Security of Dallas County for a time.

Dake owned his own water well drilling business, drilling water wells in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. He also did consulting work for environmental projects, as well as lectured at seminars on water well drilling.

He was the only master ground water contractor (MGWC) in the state of Texas and one of 70-plus MGWCs in the United States. Dake was a member of the National Ground Water Association (NGWA), the Texas Ground Water Association, Korean War Veterans Association, the Walton H. Walker Chapter #215 and the Vietnam Veterans Association of Ft. Worth.

Dake was a very active part of the master ground water certification, and before his illness, he and his wife, Lavonia, were working diligently in photographing and categorizing the MGWC members. His goal was to offer this information to the NGWA for photos to be imbedded in the MGWC certification cards.

Dake is survived by his wife, Lavonia Burkhaulter-Dake, as well as several sons and daughters, stepsons, 13 grand-children and 17 great-grandchildren.

Ray Cross

Water Specialist Emeritus Ray Cross recently passed away in Ann Arbor, Mich.; he was 93 years old. Cross spent the better part of a lifetime engaged in water quality treatment. He started a Culligan dealership in Ann Arbor in 1947, and in 1960, he was named president of Water Conditioning Association International (WCAI), a precursor to today's Water Quality Association (WQA). For the past 60 years, Mr. Cross has been a strong supporter of both WQA and the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF).

His most-recent example of philanthropy and support of our industry came this past March, when, at his 60th consecutive convention, Cross announced a challenge to members of the WQA. He offered to match every new dollar contributed to WQRF, for a period of one year, up to $300,000. Money donated as part of the “Ray Cross Challenge” goes toward an endowment that guarantees ongoing water quality research.

In a statement released in conjunction with the donation, he said, “I am proud to support the Water Quality Research Foundation, and give back to the industry that has given so much to my family and me over the years. I know that money generated from this endowment will benefit the water quality industry and improve water for countless generations.” As of July 31, the challenge has raised more than $78,000, with 212 donors.

Research was just one of the areas in which Cross was involved. Over his lifetime, he was a member of 101 different WQA task forces and committees. In the process, he has received many accolades from WQA - including creation in 2003 of the Ray E. Cross Award, presented annually to current and former WQA members whose pioneer spirit and unwavering commitment has made a notable difference in the water treatment industry. Cross was the first recipient of the award he inspired. He has also been honored with the Award of Merit (1982 and 1996), Lifetime Member Award (1985), and Hall of Fame Award (1998).

John “Bucky” Polifko

John “Bucky” Polifko, 87, Sykesville, Pa., died July 19, 2006 in DuBois, Pa.

Born June 5, 1919, in DuBois, he was the son of the late Michael and Susan Nalepa Polifko.

He married Helen Duda on Jan. 1, 1941; she preceded him in death in 1995.

Polifko lived an active life. A graduate of Sykesville High School, Class of 1937, he went on to become a sergeant in the U.S. Army. He then worked as a miner, foreman and superintendent for North Western Mining and Exchange Co. at the Kramer Mine. He attended coal mine extension courses at St. Francis College at Loretto, and taught Penn State coal-mining extension courses. Polifko worked in sales for Stockdale Mining Supply, and was foreman at the Star Iron Works Co. in Punxsutawney, Pa. He was a salesman and shop foreman at Eastern Mfg. and Supply in Denver, Pa. After retiring, he worked part-time for Sunrise Drilling and Supply of Sykesville.

In his spare time, Polifko was an avid hunter and deep-water fisherman. A fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus, he also was an active member of the Holy Trinity Byzantine Catholic Church in Sykesville, where for the past 11 years, he sang at almost every daily mass.

He was preceded in death by one brother. He is survived by a daughter and a son, four sisters, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.