Abstract

Robert F. Walters died in his sleep on April 9, 1998, in his home in Wichita, Kansas. With his passing the profession lost a senior statesman and the Walters family lost their patriarch. Bob, as he preferred, was a scholar, entrepreneur, and philanthropist; he was an extraordinary man with exceptional talents. He was born in Rochester, New York, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree (cum laude in geology) and a master's degree from the University of Rochester. By 1948, Bob had been employed as a research geologist for six years by Gulf Oil Corporation in Tulsa, where he also served as editor of the Tulsa Geological Society Digest, and in Wichita, where he would spend the rest of his productive life. After leaving Gulf he joined Jack Heathman in the oil business until 1951 when he formed his own company, the Walters Drilling Company. In this endeavor he was able to combine his vast scientific knowledge with business acumen. He was intrigued by salt dissolution and land subsidence as he pursued his interests during the 1970s and 1980s with an important contribution to the subject appearing in 1977 under the title, "Land Subsidence in Central Kansas Related to Salt Dissolution" (Kansas Geological Survey Bulletin 214). His attention also was on Pennsylvanian channel sandstones in Ness County, Kansas, and he coauthored a paper (with Bob Gutru and Fred James) on the subject that appeared in the Tulsa Geological Society Digest. Bob was honored in many ways by many organizations. In addition to the awards previously mentioned, he was president of the Kansas Geological Society (KGS) in 1955, made an Honorary Member of KGS in 1970 and of AAPG in 1987, and was inducted into the Kansas Oil and Gas Hall of Fame in 1991. He served on numerous KGS committees and many AAPG committees, including the Advisory Council (1972-1974), Trustee Associates (1980-1985), Research (1951-1953), Business (1954-1955, 1964-1965), Emblem (1955). He is survived by his wife, Peg, whom he married in 1938, four daughters, 10 grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. Bob was active in many civic organizations as well, including (not surprisingly) the Girl Scouts, Wichita Swim Club, and Wichita Chapter of the American Red Cross, and was a Deacon in the First Presbyterian Church. Other interests included archeology, and for a hobby he collected Native American artifacts and jewelry. Bob was a modest person, preferring to help others without public acknowledgment. He fostered the careers of many young geologists, giving them professional support as well as financial support-many times this support, especially to students, was given anonymously. Monetary gifts included support of the geology department at his alma mater, the University of Rochester. Bob was special in many ways, but especially in his devotion to his family and in his devotion to his profession. He stood tall in all aspects of life and was unique in and for quality. He had insight and understanding, not only of his chosen profession, geology, but also of human nature. He will be missed and he will be remembered.

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