Contributed by Tyler Sanders
Robert (Bob) Slamal died tragically
in a car accident February 9, 2001, at the age of 49. he was a Wichita
Petroleum geologist. Prominent locally in the Kansas Geological Society
and Library, his interest in the science of geology extended far beyond
Kansas and his specialty of petroleum geology.
Bob's background included a bachelor's
degree in business from Emporia State University and a master's of science
degree in geology from Wichita State University.
He was a past president of the Kansas
Geological Foundation. His professional affiliations outside of the
Kansas Geological Society and Foundation were diverse and too numerous
to mention, but included memberships in organizations such AAPG, RMAG,
KIOGA, SIPES, OCGS, HGS, GSA, EPM, and UGA. He kept abreast of research
in many areas of geology, and subscribed to a wide number of professional
"Extraordinary" and "unique" are
two words heard often in stories and fond remembrances being told and retold
by his many friends since his death. Bob was extraordinary in many
ways. His unrivaled passion and dedication to the science of geology
and his profession were primary among them.
Also part of his personality was
his kindness and simple honesty. His gently and humble manner, rooted
in his rural upbringing in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, at times seemed deceptively
naive. Most often, however his recommendations, and sometimes purposefully
controversial statements were found to be grounded in perceptive truth.
They were always offered with the best of intentions.
Bob's unique compassion and eagerness
to help others were also his trademarks. He showed compassion in
so many ways, whether it was to total strangers (as when he would tow people
from snow drifts for no compensation other than a simple "Thank you"),
to geology students in showing them the practical application of their
science, or to fellow geologists in recommending research sources or alternative
interpretations to geologic problems.
Rarely can someone be thought of
as truly irreplaceable. Bob's professional dedication, passion, and
never-ending unselfish volunteerism given to Kansas Geological Society
and Library will be his unique legacy.
If the measure of a person's wealth
is based on lasting influence, inspiration and respect, then Bob Slamal
died a very wealthy man. He will be dearly missed by his friends,
colleagues, and everyone else fortunate enough to have known him.
Contributed by Wes Hansen
Prior to starting his geologic studies,
Bob returned to Medicine Lodge and ran a business that built fences for
farmers and ranchers in the area. Later on, Bob abandoned this venture
and started work as a roustabout in the oil fields. This job got
Bob interested in the oil business and led him to start his masters in
geology program at Wichita State University. Bob finished his degree
just in time to try to seek employment at the start of the downturn in
the business in the early 1980's. Bob struggled to earn a living
as an independent, generally doing short term jobs and turning an occasional
Bob's approach to exploration was
different than that of many geologist's working in a mature area.
He always sought the wilder stratigraphic deal with higher potential, never
wanting to work the close-in or corner-shooting kind of deal. Bob
firmly believed that a geologist needed to cover the dry holes he or she
was responsible for with enough good discoveries. I will always believe
that Bob was very close to that big discovery that we all hope to have
in our careers.
Bob is survived by his parents.
Arthur and Joann Slamal of Medicine Lodge: and sisters, Jeanne Robinson
of Spring, Texas, and Betty Jo Swayden of Medicine Lodge.
Memorials have been established
with the United Methodist Church, Medicine Lodge and the Kansas Geological