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Park Mourns the Loss of an Employee

Patrick O Mullen

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News Release Date: March 13, 2012


Death of Compliance Archaeologist Patrick O Mullen

Copper Center, Alaska- Patrick O Mullen, 29, a Compliance Archeologist at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, died on the afternoon of March 9 from an automobile accident.

Patrick was born in Farmington, New Mexico on November 13, 1982.He earned his BS in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico in 2005 and a Masters of Anthropology from the University of Wyoming in 2008.At the time of his death, Patrick was pursuing a Ph.D. from UW.He came to Wrangell-St. Elias in 2009 and 2010 as a summer - seasonal field Archaeologist and was hired full-time as the Park's Compliance Archaeologist in the fall of 2010.

He was a devoted husband, loving son, and loyal friend.Patrick is survived by his wife, Willa Mullen,mother Joyce Mullen and step-father Ron Wild,father Wally Dotson and partner Peggy Williams, half-brother Lou Dotson, sister-in-law Katya Hafich, grandparents John and Velma Mullen, grandparents Wallace and Barbara Dotson, aunts, uncles, cousins and numerous loving friends.

Patrick will be missed for his kindness, humor, courage, loyalty, love of family, adventurous spirit, and love of wilderness. Willa, the love of his life, shared his love for the outdoors and they enjoyed many adventures together while building a life together in Kenny Lake, Alaska. Patrick found great joy and peace in the mountains through backcountry skiing, mountaineering, hunting, and exploring the wild places of the west and Alaska- something he did the last day of his life.

Patrick will be remembered as he was: a strong, deliberate and contented man with a keen sense of humor. He led by example and action in his academic and athletic pursuits. In Patrick's words, the only limit to our accomplishments is our ambition, of which Patrick had endless amounts. A Memorial service will be held at Albuquerque Academy, 3 pm Friday, March 16th.A memorial is also being planned in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park later this year. (email e-mail us for additional information) In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Albuquerque Academy scholarship fund www.aa.edu or the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, www.nmwild.org.


Did You Know?

Mt. Bona

Mount Bona, a 16,421’ peak in the St. Elias range, was named in 1897 by Italy’s Duke of the Abruzzi for his racing yacht, the Bona. The Duke, grandson of the first king of Italy, was the first person to climb towering 18,008’ Mount St. Elias, from which vantage point he could view Mt. Bona.