Folks, Doyle was with the Class of 68, not 70. That was my errror yesterday. Gary
From: Ralph Christie
Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 6:31 PM
To: All Merrick Employees
Subject: Doyle Abrahamson
Doyle Abrahamson, PLS/MS
Vice President, Surveying
1949 – 2010
It saddens me that Doyle Abrahamson, PLS/MS, Vice President of Surveying at Merrick & Company, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, August 28, 2010, while traveling on business in Florida. Doyle has been a mainstay at Merrick for over 30 years. He was instrumental in the development and success of our surveying department. Through his leadership, mentoring, and commitment to quality, Doyle developed long-term relationships with many repeat clients, such as Xcel Energy and the Regional Transportation District. He was also a noted and recognized expert in Colorado survey law. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, colleagues, his surveying team, and fellow Merrick
Doyle grew up in North Dakota on his family’s homestead located just south of the Canadian border. He often talked about walking three miles, uphill, to Hilltop School, a one-room schoolhouse serving the area’s educational needs. In 1970, he earned a degree in Civil Engineering Technology from Lake Region Junior College in Devils Lake, North Dakota. His later education included U.S. Army, land surveying #447; University of Arizona Advanced Cadastral Survey (instructor/student); and Metropolitan State College of Denver, Advanced Cadastral Survey (instructor/student). Doyle’s greatest education came from his daily involvement in the projects on which he worked and the clients with whom he worked.
In 1979, Bruce Walker, Merrick’s prior CEO, hired Doyle to head up Merrick’s survey department. I remember Doyle telling me that everyone was doing their own thing back then. There weren’t any developed systems. It wasn’t long before Doyle put systems in place to gradually make the survey department a well-functioning, profitable part of Merrick’s business.
Ed Lecuyer, Merrick’s Co-founder, recalls Doyle’s first assignment was to get registered in Texas to provide oversight on some projects there. Mr. Lecuyer said, “Doyle was always there to tackle the great surveying challenges, and he did it successfully and professionally.”
Doyle’s first co-workers were Grant Thomas and Ed Adams. Grant liked to remind Doyle that he was the junior boy on the block, because Grant had started at Merrick just one month before Doyle. At that time, Merrick was performing considerable land development and REA Company transmission line surveying and engineering, and Doyle had 15 survey crews along with office staff.
Roger Nelson distinctly remembers Doyle as the consummate mentor and professional. “A knowing grin would appear on Doyle’s face when an opportunity arose to teach a fellow surveyor. Too often I was on the receiving end of that knowing grin early on in my career at Merrick,” said Roger. Doyle would begin, “Mr. PLS, how would you handle the situation?” Then, Roger would eagerly respond as Doyle smiled and led him down the path to learning by asking probing questions regarding the foundation of his quick answer. According to Roger, this was Doyle’s way to develop sound decision making abilities. As Roger’s career advanced under Doyle’s tutelage, he witnessed this same instructional dance with younger surveyors and then realized what a blessing that he was given. Doyle quietly taught many lessons to surveyors over the years without expectation of anything in return but knowing that he had advanced another surveyor’s knowledge. Roger said, “Doyle also gave selflessly his time to others that sought his professional opinion and advice.”
I personally have received many complements from Merrick clients about Doyle’s professionalism and reliability. They knew when Doyle did something, it was done right.
Doyle took on some demanding personal challenges with the same passion as he took on projects at Merrick. On August 19, 2005, Doyle climbed Long’s Peak on August 19, 2005, in spite of his life-time of diabetes, earlier knee damage, and his fright of heights. He said, “In years to come when I have a hard time just getting into my recliner chair, I wanted to be able to tell my grandchildren that Grandpa climbed that mountain,” which is in view of his home in Estes Park.
In 2006, Doyle and his son Justin were part of a team who made multiple climbs in the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains to retrace and re-monument the original Base Line dividing the Kansas and Nebraska territories in what is now Colorado. They made preliminary climbs to locate monuments along the 40th parallel on both the east and west sides of the divide. Locating these monuments was an effort to find the “Summit of the Rockies” cross set in 1859, which was placed there by the original surveyors. In the article, “The Path to the Proper Summit of the Rockies,” John B. Guyton, LS, said of this venture in which Doyle participated: “Once in a lifetime an opportunity may present itself to retrace the footsteps of the original surveyors of a line so significant that it shaped the course of our country’s growth.”
Doyle is survived by his wife Cindy and their three sons: Justin, Paul (Skipper), and Matt.
Doyle touched the lives of so many at our company. He will be missed.
Services are still being developed by the family. Once details are available they will be shared via e-mail with all employees.
Condolences to the Abrahamson Family
From Dick Johnson (70): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,
My sincerest condolences to the Abrahamson family on the loss of
Doyle. It was a terrible shock to learn of his untimely passing. We had
many good times together in school and throughout our adult lives when
he was home to visit. He will certainly be missed by all of us.
Condolences to the Abrahamson Family
From Gary and Bernadette Stokes: