Abstract

Louis Simon's many friends and colleagues were saddened to learn of his passing on October 4, 1996, after a lengthy fight with cancer. It was typical of Louis' well-organized ways and his penchant for planning that when it became obvious the end was not far away, he, with the help of his daughter, Toni Simon-Windy, composed his own Memorial. The following, accordingly, is Louis Simon's own memorial as he wrote it. (For the non-paleontologists, "bug," as in "bug lab," refers to Foraminifera, a microscopic marine organism used for age dating and facies analysis.) "Louis J. Simon passed away October 4, 1996, of prostate and bone cancer in San Rafael, California. He was born in 1912 in Vincennes, Indiana. His family owned the Hack & Simon Brewery, which later became the University of Vincennes. After completing grammar school in Vincennes, he graduated from high school at New Mexico Military Institute, Roswell, New Mexico. He entered Pomona College in Claremont, California, and was one of a long list of geology students who studied under A. O. Woodford. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in geology in 1935. "Louis entered Stanford University for graduate work under Hubert Schenck. While at Stanford, Hubert Schenck sent him to Bakersfield, California to work with Robert Kleinpell. While in Bakersfield, Ralph Reed of Texaco convinced Louis to stop school and go to work in Los Angeles for Paul P. Goudkoff in his micropaleontology laboratory. (This was during the Depression and jobs were hard to find.) Louis worked for Paul Goudkoff during the development of the Terminal Island oil field. After several years with Goudkoff, he accepted a job with Superior Oil Company under Robert Hutcheson in Superior's bug lab at Rio Bravo in the San Joaquin Valley. "After working on development of many of the oil fields in the San Joaquin Valley, Texaco hired Louis for their bug lab in Los Angeles, California. Originally located at 929 South Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, Texaco moved to a new building on Wilshire at Vermont, next door to the Ambassador Hotel. Louis spent 30 years with Texaco, rising to senior micropaleontologist in charge of not only Texaco's bug lab but also their palynology lab in Los Angeles, as well as a P&P (rock properties) lab located in Long Beach. "Louis served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He had graduated from Pomona College as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army. At the outbreak of hostilities, he was called to active duty in the antiaircraft command. As a geologist, he was sent to Air Force Intelligence School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Upon graduating he was sent to England, where he was assigned to the Allied Central Intelligence Unit in Buckinghamshire, overlooking the Thames River. He attended a six-week language class to learn British "English". Louis spent the war years in the Petrol Oil and Lubricants (P.O.L.) section working with two British oil geologists (one from Shell, and one from British Petroleum.) His field was buried oil storage. Each day the current aerial photos covering oil refineries, synthetic oil plants, and buried oil storage were delivered to the P.O.L. lab. These photos were examined under stereoscopes and reports sent to Headquarters. Current P.O.L. targets were picked at a weekly meeting at the U.S. Embassy. Louis' efforts earned him the Bronze Star. "Louis and his wife of 56 years, Panchita, raised their four children in Arcadia, California. They then retired to Incline Village, Nevada, where Louis pursued his avid interest in skiing--even into his 80s. He and Panchita traveled extensively during their retirement. For the last 10 years Louis and Panchita divided their time between Tahoe and Oakmont in Sonoma County, California, where they played golf during the non-skiing season. This past year, they moved to Villa Marin in San Rafael, California, to be closer to their four children, and seven grandchildren". It was my privilege and good fortune to work for Louis when I started my career at Texaco's paleontology lab in Los Angeles in 1959. He was a most kind, knowledgeable, and gracious mentor for a young person fresh out of school. He introduced me not only to Texaco and the oil industry, but also to the culture and life of southern California. His background and experience in West Coast geology, paleontology, and history were extensive, and he was always willing to share this knowledge with others. Largely due to his leadership, Texaco's Los Angeles paleontology lab had one of the most extensive and best organized collections of fossil foraminifera in the industry. Every sample was extensively documented and all slides, rock samples, and reports were cross referenced and readily accessible. Even the individual foraminifera were mounted on the microscope slides in a particular manner for easy reference. All this in the pre-computer days! With Louis' passing, those of us who knew him and were influenced by him have lost a friend and colleague. In a broader sense, our profession has lost one of its pioneers upon whose work and efforts much of the success of our modern industry rests.

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