Abstract

Norman Eugene Smith died June 14, 1996, in Lafayette, Louisiana, following a determined six-month battle with cancer. Norman was born April 11, 1930, in Malden, Missouri, the fifth of seven children of the late Charles S. Smith and the former Trella Victoria Sorrells. He graduated from Risco High School in Risco, Missouri, and then from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural engineering. After serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1951 to 1953, Norman returned to the University of Missouri where he earned a master's degree in geology in 1955. At the time of his death Norman was a member of the development board for the Geology Department at the University of Missouri. While serving in the Air Force in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Norman married the former Barbara Jean Sutton on August 31, 1953. He is survived by Jean and their two children, Vicki Ann Smith of Lafayette, Louisiana and Charles Johnson Smith of Malden, Missouri and Lafayette, Louisiana. He is also survived by two brothers, two sisters, one grandson, and two step grandsons. Following his graduation from the University of Missouri in 1955, Norman accepted a position on the geological staff of Continental Oil Company. After a short stay in Morgan City, Louisiana, Norman and his family were transferred to Houston, Texas, and then to Lafayette, Louisiana, in 1961, where he lived and worked for the remainder of his career. In 1976, Norman opened an office for Jones O'Brien, Inc. in Lafayette as manager of their South Louisiana Operations. In 1981, he became vice president and exploration manager of Federated Energy Corporation, and in 1986, Norman formed his own company, Lafayette Exploration and Development Company, where he remained as chief executive officer until his death. Norman's career in petroleum geology covered the full range of exploration and development in both the offshore and onshore areas of the Gulf Coast. Smitty, as he was widely known among his many friends and acquaintances around the oil center in Lafayette, was a man of many interests. Professionally, he was a "hands on" geologist who possessed many firmly held beliefs and opinions that were developed as a result of long hours of detailed work with the correlations and structural-depositional complexities of Gulf Coast geology. He was a man not easily swayed from a personal opinion and liked nothing more than a good debate on the nuances of a particular technical point to demonstrate his view to interested colleagues. Smitty was also a very successful geologist. When judged on the basis of the huge reserves that were discovered and developed as a direct result of his programs, he is ranked as one of the more accomplished exploration geologists of our time. Smitty was also a "man of the times." Although he came out of the era of paper and pencil geology where all data were meticulously recorded, interpreted, and erased by hand, he was heavily invested in computer technology and was firmly dedicated to the concept that the geologic wave of the future would come through computers. On a more personal level, Smitty had a wide range of interests in all sports and was generous in his support of local collegiate sports, especially football and basketball. He was an avid hunter and became proficient in many sports, including golf, bowling, and softball at various times. In his later years, Smitty became interested in antique automobiles and had assembled an impressive collection at the time of his death. Smitty was a member and strong supporter of AAPG as well as numerous other professional organizations throughout his career. He was an active Mason and had been active in many local civic organizations. Norman Smith was a good and generous man. With his passing, the oil and gas industry lost a good soldier, his family lost a strong husband and father, and I lost a good friend. He is sorely missed by us all.

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