Jaques Bluett 1980–2019

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Jaques Beaufort Bluett grew up digging ditches and watching baseball on a small TV, and finished with a master’s degree in physics and a thousand tales of adventure. He passed away unexpectedly June 5, in his apartment in La Jolla, California, from complications of type 1 diabetes. He was 38.

Jaques was brilliant, funny, and kind, a sweet natured wanderer with an outsized personality. He had a sly sense of humor and a drive to explore the novel and the obscure. He was a hard worker who excelled in his education and his career as a medical dosimetrist, helping hospital oncology teams treat cancer with radiation.

Jaques was born June 16, 1980 and raised on the family farm in Belen, New Mexico. Little League was a refuge from daily farm chores, and made him a lifelong baseball fan. In high school he played on both the baseball and golf teams.

As a teen, Jaques embraced the life of the mind, earning top grades at Belen High School, seeking guidance from his favorite teachers, and helping to marshal the school Academic Decathalon team to a David-and-Goliath state championship and a trip to nationals in St. George, Utah in 1997. Jaques and his team were competitors in Science Olympiad as well, and also received top honors.

After graduating a semester early from high school in 1998, Jaques enrolled at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, turninq down full-ride scholarships in New Mexico in search of new horizons. After graduating from Lawrence, Jaques continued his studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, receiving his M.S. in physics in 2003.

Having prepared for a career in academia, he took a left turn into the field of medical dosimetry, first working at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago, and later at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at Houston, and the California Proton Cancer Therapy Center in San Diego. He co-authored and contributed to over 25 medical research publications and was a guest speaker at a national physics symposium at age 21.

Jaques was a diehard fan of the Minnesota Twins and a keen pool player. He admired forgotten country singers, loved the mythology of the West, and had a fondness for Clint Eastwood movies.

He is survived by his wife Claire of Albuquerque, New Mexico; mother, Jean Bluett of Alder, Montana; father Marc Bluett of Belen, New Mexico; sister Cassandra Whiteside (Bo) of Kodiak, Alaska; and brother Jeff Bluett (Ariel) of Bozeman, Montana. He is also survived by uncles John Anderson (Karen) and Jim Anderson (Jaci Grenville) of Alder, Montana; and his aunt, Joan Eliel (Tom) of Townsend, Montana, as well as numerous cousins.

Jaques was brilliant, kind, sweet, funny, thoughtful, considerate and caring. He was blessed to have such wonderful family and friends, just as they were all blessed by him.

He was a bright and shining star. Someday all of us who loved him will see that shining star again, and meet an angel we know.

A memorial service will be held on Sept. 21 at the Bosque Retreat Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Please email casswhiteside@gmail.com if you wish to attend.