Ed Donnelly
(1919 - 2001)

Robert Cowdery
Wichita, Kansas
No Picture 

With the passing of Ed Donnelly on August 4, 2001 the industry lost one of its stalwarts and the profession lost one of its "truest gentlemen."

Ed, who was born in New York City, was destined to be a geologist from birth.  his father Leonard G. Donnelly was a geologist for a predecessor company to Shell Oil in Caracas and at Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela.  In 1917, while in Tulsa, He became one of the founders of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.  He was later to do field work in the El Dorado Field for Harry Sinclair.  Ed and his brother Dr. John donnelly, now residing in Santa Rosa, California spent a portion of their early years in Santa Fe, New Mexico where ed received his elementary and high school education.

Ed received a B.S. degree in Geology from the University of Chicago in 1941.  While at the University of Chicago he was influenced by a very well known geologist, Dr Carey Croneis, later to become President of Rice University.

After graduation in 1941, Ed entered the Air Force as a private.  He then entered OCD at Scott Field and was assigned to communications.  as a communications officer he served for two years in the Aleutians with a P-40 squadron.

With his discharge from the service, Ed entered graduate school at the University of Oklahoma.  By this time, Ed was married.  His family, which eventually included two daughters; Toni Peters who now lives in Daytona Beach, Florida and Patty Sellers who resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, created additional financial burdens over and beyond support provided by the GI Boll of Rights forcing his withdrawal from graduate school.

Ed's first professional employment was with Carter Oil Company in Shreveport, Louisiana.  After working three years for Carter in the Arkla-Texas area, he was transferred to Wichita in 1950.  Ed later joined the firm of Amstutz and Yates where he came under the influence of Clark Roach, longtime KGS member who died last year.

Ed joined the firm of Durbin Bond and Company in Little Rock, Arkansas.  When Durbin Bond closed the office, Ed found himself a long ways from the "Oil Patch."  He was fortunate in finding employment with Natural Gas and Oil in Wichita, but they closed their Wichita office in 1961.  Ed joined Lario Oil and Gas where he worked with, among others, Orvie Howell.  In 1970, Ed joined the ranks of independent geologists where he remained until his death.  he continued to go every morning to his office in the Landmark Square Building where he particularly enjoyed the camaraderie of other geologists including but not limited to: Dick Roby, George Mueller, Carol Van Buskirk, Gus Messinger, Bob Hammond, Marvin Douglas, and Elbie McNeil.

Among other attributes possessed by Ed was the of "oil finder."  He was successful in Pawnee and Sumner Counties as well as other areas.

Ed, also found the time and desire to serve his profession.  In 1967, he was Secretary Treasurer of the KGS, followed by the Vice Presidency in 1979.  He also served the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists as Secretary Treasurer, Vice Chairman, and Chairman of the Wichita Chapter. 

In 1971 on Christmas Day he married Kate who he met at a dance at the Cotillion.  They would have been married thirty years this Christmas.  He and Kate have fifteen grandchildren and six great grandchildren.  Six of the grandchildren served as casket bearers at his funeral.  Additionally serving, as honorary casket bearers were long-time friends: Albert Albercrombie, Marvin Douglass, Marvin Frankamp, George Mueller, Richard Roby, and Wayne Walcher.

Although Ed was not a member of the Roman Catholic Church, He faithfully attended services every Sunday Kate.  The officiant at his funeral was Father Jason Borkenhagen, St. Thomas Acquinas Catholic Church.

Memorials for Ed were established with Hospice and Kansas Geological Foundation.

Return to Memorial Home