In Memoriam: Ellis E. Roberts
1917 - December 4th, 2012 It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of our friend and colleague Dr. Ellis E. Roberts
Ellis Roberts, Professor Emeritus of Geological Sciences at San Diego State University, passed away at his home in Los Osos California Oct 11, 2012. Roberts was born in Wisconsin and received his Bachelors of Science degree at Michigan College of Mining and Technology in 1937, his Masters degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1940, and his PhD from Stanford University in 1949. His PhD dissertation was entitled: “Geochemical and geobotanical prospecting for barium and copper”. During WWII he served with the Navy Seabees and Navy Ordinance. Professor Roberts was a mainstay in the Department from 1949-1979, the second full-time geology professor hired into the Department following Baylor Brooks. He taught mineralogy and petrology as well as genesis of ore deposits to generations of students, and developed X-ray diffraction instrumentation for the Department. Following his retirement Ellis loved getting out on the water at Morro Bay and also stayed active as an inventor using his knowledge of mineralogy to develop new abrasives and file patents on these materials.
Clancy Wendt his former student writes: "I was very sad to hear that Dr Roberts (Ellis which I never would have said) had passed on. I remember him very well as I was his TA for Petrology and Mineralogy. Listening to him lecture and be so excited about reading McKinstry Mining Geology and acting like it was his first time. He liked to call it a mystery novel that you could not read enough times to find out all the mysteries that it held. He always told a very bad joke about "Andylusite being in the same bin with Rosie Quartz" and he still laughed about how far he had gone with the risky talk. This at a time when Free Love was everywhere and it never occurred to Dr. Roberts that this could happen outside of marriage. When I had finished my course work Ellis asked if I wanted a job. I said yes!!! He got me a job interview with Stauffer Chemical where I was offered the job. I will always remember him and his efforts in my getting my first job and the start of my career. I like to think that his classes and being a TA helped get me where I am today.
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