EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — A UTEP professor, who was seriously injured after falling 30 feet at the Franklin Mountains, has died.
Friends of Karl Putnam said they’re sad to hear of his death, but they are comforted by the fact that he died doing what he was most passionate about.
Putnam was at home in the Franklin Mountains. He knew everything about every trail and everything you’d see along the way.
“He’d point out the plants, and tell you what the plants were. (He’s) just a great people person,” said Carol Brown, of the El Paso Hiking Group. “He loved hiking; he had a passion for hiking and loved to pass that passion on to other people.”
Putnam, 69, was an organizer for the El Paso Hiking Meetup Group, which has more than 1,000 members.
Group members said Putnam had been having some health issues lately, and passed out while taking a group photo during a hike on July 2.
Putnam fell 30 feet and remained in a coma until he died on Wednesday.
“It’s due to him that the crash sites of the bombers in the Franklin (Mountains) now have a little plaque at that area honoring the ones who died in the crash,” Brown said.
Group members said Putnam had no plans to retire and lived life to its fullest until the very end.
“They’ll remember him very fondly. They’ll have good memories of him, and they will miss him. I know I will. I’m going to miss him,” Brown said.
Putnam was also an accounting professor at the University of Texas at El Paso. The university released the following statement:
“Karl Putnam dedicated more than 30 years in the College of Business Administration to educating the students of this region, and he will be missed by the UTEP community.”