Abstract

Friends and career associates have experienced a great loss through the death of Clemont H. "Clem" Bruce, AAPG member since 1949, AAPG Vice President in 1985-1986, George C. Matson Award winner in 1983, and AAPG Distinguished Service Award recipient in 1989. Clem died January 18, 1996, at Farmers Branch, Texas, a victim of cancer. Clem, son of a Central City, Kentucky, barbershop and restaurant owner, was born September 5, 1921. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Bettie Bruce; his son and daughter-in-law, Byron and Melody Bruce; his daughter, Lynette Troyer; four grandchildren, Stephanie, Brian, Alex, and Andrew; and a sister, Adrian Rafferty, of Owensboro, Kentucky. Clem received his elementary and high school education in the Central City schools, then enrolled at the University of Kentucky as a geology major in 1939. His education was interrupted by his entry into military service in 1942. After basic training in Indiana, he served two and one-half years in the 8th Air Force in England. He was discharged in 1945. After the war, he returned to the University of Kentucky and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in geology in 1946 and a Master of Science degree in geology in 1949. On June 20, 1949, just after his marriage to Bettie June Kemp (June 11, 1949), Clem reported for work with Magnolia Petroleum Company (later Mobil Oil Corporation) at Mt. Vernon, Illinois. From that date to 1965, he developed his geological interpretation skills at the Magnolia Petroleum Company offices at Mt. Vernon, Illinois (1949-1953), Dallas, Texas (1953-1956), and Jackson, Mississippi (1956-1965). At Jackson, Mississippi, Clem early on demonstrated his interest and ability in serving as a mentor to other geologists. When Fred Dix arrived at Jackson to work for Mobil Oil Corporation, Clem took him under his wing and gave him a crash course in Gulf Coast geology as well as company politics and procedures. Later, in Corpus Christi and Houston, Texas, Clem was the "silver-haired leader" of a Friday lunch group. Magnolia Petroleum Company, and later its parent company, Mobil Oil Corporation, were the only employers Clem ever served. It was a fruitful arrangement for all. Following his transfer from Jackson, Mississippi, to Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1965, Clem became involved with in-depth studies of the relationships of structure, stratigraphy, clay diagenesis, and abnormal fluid pressures in the geologic strata of the northern Gulf of Mexico Basin and its adjacent onshore areas. He was a major contributor to an extensive Mobil research study (the Conslope Project) in 1968-1969. In these works, he demonstrated an unusual ability for the collection, analysis, and merging of geological, geophysical, and geochemical data into an excellent understanding of the geology of the province, and also the ability to communicate that understanding clearly to others. A paper published by Clem in the AAPG Bulletin in 1973, entitled "Pressured Shale and Related Sediments-Mechanism for Development of Regional Contemporaneous Faults," led to his being in great demand as a speaker at AAPG national and regional conventions and lecture tours. His Distinguished Lecturer tour for AAPG in 1973-1974, explaining why the giant Brazos anticline, offshore Texas, was essentially one big dry hole, was so well received that a follow-up tour had to be scheduled to fill the demand. He also served on many AAPG work assignments, including the Research Committee (1973-1985) (chairman 1978-1981); Education Committee (1978-1981); Associate Editor (1979); Advisory Council (1980-1984); and Convention Coordinating Committee (1982-1983). Throughout his career Clem was a man deeply dedicated to his family, his profession, and his country. He was active (with Byron) in Indian Guides, coached Little League baseball, and worked with the Boy Scouts. His deep interest in, and knowledge of, history turned travel with Clem into guided tours. He was active in his church and worked for the needy of the community giving out food, clothing, etc. Clem particularly loved to work with high school and college students, holding many discussions with them about their fields of science. He stayed in touch with many college students, helping and encouraging them in their thesis work. In all of Clem's associations, he was pleasant, cheerful, humble, and a positive thinker. At the same time, he exhibited a fine sense of humor, as was demonstrated in his statement to Fred Dix in December 1972 as Fred was leaving to take the Executive Director's job at AAPG; he said, "Fred, I'd rather try to organize 15,000 fishing worms than 15,000 geologists." Clem Bruce's many contributions to our profession, his demeanor, and his character will be long remembered by all of us.

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