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Perry O. Roehl

Hal Barger
Perry O. Roehl

It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Perry O. Roehl, who joined the Trinity faculty in 1981 as the fifth member of what was then called the geology department and the first Herndon Distinguished Professor of Geosciences. He died Dec. 20 at the age of 85.

Roehl was an eminent geologist with an extensive resume when he arrived at Trinity to teach courses in fossil fuels, petroleum geology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, and oceanography. He published a book in 1985 titled Carbonate Petroleum Reservoirs, which detailed case studies of 41 oil and gas fields. He retired in 1995 and became a professor emeritus. He received an Outstanding Educator Award in 2010 from the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies.

A consultant to the petroleum industry, Roehl traveled around the world to explore, teach, and train geologists in countries that included Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates. He was president and owner of Roehl & Associates, a geological consulting firm in Fullerton, Calif., from 1975 to 1981, conducting oil and gas exploration in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, California, Montana, North Dakota, and Texas, and consulting with the governments of Norway and Sweden. Prior to that, he worked briefly at Chevron, nine years at Union Oil Research, and 11 years for Shell Oil Co., where he joined a "new" program for geologists to be liaisons to engineers. It was a job that no geologist wanted, he was quoted as saying. Instead, "They wanted to stand on a mountain and tell you where to drill the next wildcat." He also served as national president of the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists.

Roehl was a chemistry major at The Ohio State University until he took a trip as a student to Wyoming and Montana, where he was captivated by geologic formations, notably those at Glacier National Park. He earned a bachelor's degree in geology from Ohio State, a master's from Stanford University, and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. He continued to feel the lure of the oil patch, even into his academic career.

Roehl is survived by his wife Mary, four children, and six grandchildren. A memorial service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 15, in the Parker Chapel on the Trinity campus. The Rev. Raymond Judd, Trinity's chaplain emeritus, will officiate.

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