January 9, 2019
John Lawrence Boone died on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at his home in Houston. He leaves behind family and friends in abundance and a legacy of passion for life. John was passionate about his intellectual calling. He loved true science, particularly geology in its myriad forms. A single course in geology while attending Wofford Junior College in Spartanburg, SC resulted in a lifetime fascination with the subject. In 1971, John transferred to the University of Texas at Austin to pursue his interest, earning BS and MA degrees in Geology from UT, which led to careers in petroleum geology and hydrogeology. His keen mind led him to constantly read about discoveries and theories about the Earth’s formation, its secrets, its resources, and the geology of places beyond Earth. After graduation, his oil and gas career began at Getty Oil Company in Houston. Business was booming and he chose to move to Corpus Christi to join TXO Production Co., and then moved to Tondu Corporation, a small independent company. When the “boom” went “bust”, he found new challenges at Everest Minerals, where he evaluated oil and gas deals and explored for uranium. He also became the company’s de facto IT trouble-shooter with the introduction of computers and printers, which kick-started his life-time interest in the latest technology for computers, phones, TV, AV and every other thing that plugged into a wall until Bluetooth and wireless were developed. In 1986, the price of oil fell from around $30 per barrel to $10 per barrel. At this point, John changed the focus of his career to hydrogeological and environmental assessment at Conoco, Inc. When he received his 5-year pin, he moved on to the alphabet time of his career, with time at GSI, RMT and ERM, all environmental consulting companies. At the behest of a friend, he ultimately joined Arcadis U.S., Inc. as a Principal Geologist, actively consulting there through November 2018. John was always torn by his desire to truly remediate environmental damage in opposition to most clients’ desires to do as little as possible for the least amount of money. He worked tirelessly to find acceptable solutions for cleaning up the Earth. He was a past member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Corpus Christi Geological Society, the Houston Geological Society and the National Groundwater Association. Hurricane Harvey captured his interest (and house) and resulted in an obsessively researched article specific to his Lakeside Forest neighborhood. He mapped precipitation totals for the Harvey deluge, researched historical rainfall data in the area, surveyed maximum flood elevation at his home, and determined an average recurrence interval of 34,000 years for a similar event. He enjoyed using his skills to address future flooding concern for his neighbors and to satisfy his own curiosity. He was passionate about history – from the Greeks and Romans to the Franco Prussian wars to World War II to Vietnam to today’s tumultuous climate. He understood history and put it into the context of today’s events. A day discussing history with John was a day in a graduate-level history course. One of John’s most consuming passions was a small plot of land near Yorktown, Texas, where he loved spending time working and, occasionally, pig hunting. With great determination he battled yaupon, huisache, cactus, vines and other vegetation that impinged upon his paths through the property using tractor, shredder, chainsaw, pole saw and Remedy brush killer. Sisyphus would have identified with his ongoing struggle. John also created and maintained food plots for deer, turkey and quail, and by default, the obnoxious pigs. He liked feeding the small group of goldfish who kept the water tank clean and reviewing game camera photos of does and fawns, bobcats with their kittens, herons, coyotes, badgers, feral hogs, armadillos, opossums and jillions of raccoon. He nurtured the land, observed the wildlife, watched the changing of the seasons and reveled in nature. He was a true outdoorsman. John was passionate about good food and wine and relished eating and drinking with friends and family. He loved cooking for his wife Marta and was famous among family and friends for his annual Christmas Eve spread of beef tenderloin, grilled salmon and particularly his “falling off the bone” Texas Two-Step baby-back ribs. Home-made béarnaise sauce, perfect temperature filets, bread, buttermilk pancakes and waffles, twice-cooked French fries, pressure-cooked chili, all legumes and assorted veggies were only a few of his culinary fortes. John was a man of many talents and interests. He piloted his V-tailed Bonanza, sailed, rode horses, bicycles and motorcycles, played classical guitar, ran, skied, wind-surfed, kayaked, canoed, hiked, worked out, played tennis and was an all-around handy man due to his 16th year summer spent as a go-fer for a man of many skills who couldn’t drive a vehicle. He had a great sense of humor, an appreciation of the absurd and could laugh until he cried over some stories. John was a voracious reader of autobiographies, military history and history in general, politics, finance and geology books and publications. He eschewed fiction as he could not glean any useful knowledge from same. He was very detail-oriented and inquisitive. Rather than tossing some piece of equipment that had a glitch, he researched how-to repairs in online videos. For many years, he and Marta regularly attended performances presented by Chamber Music Houston, as well as those by the Houston Symphony and Austin Classical Guitar Society. He was an audiophile and cared for his record and CD collection and AV equipment obsessively, until streaming music came along. His personal playlist consisted of classical pieces written by the masters and performed by the most talented artists. However, his first date with Marta in 1981 involved flying her in his private plane from Corpus Christi to Houston to see and hear the Rolling Stones in the Astrodome. Ever after, old Stones’ songs were the only music they could listen to in harmony. Their return trip to Corpus that evening was very romantic as they watched the Orionid Meteorites streak through the crystal-clear night sky from the Cessna’s front wind screen. It was an unforgettable night. Finally, John was passionate about his wife, Marta. He admired and respected her wit and intelligence, her drive and determination. He supported her ideas and her ideals. He loved her. Marta will truly miss her handsome, caring, intelligent husband. John was 68 years old. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1950, and grew up on the idyllic Tidesmeet Plantation, located on the Stono River near Meggett, SC. He was predeceased by his parents, Ellen and John A. Boone, MD. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Marta B. Bianchi; brother, David A. Boone and wife Rosaline of Crystal Lake, IL; their children Kate Boone Airhart (Ernie) and John G. Boone; his sister, Anne Boone of Oakland, CA; her children Christine Reed Johnson (Vaughn) and Daniel Reed (Mandy); and four great-nieces and nephews. Marta’s sister, Beth Frantes, her husband Tom, their sons Matt, Gus and Truett, and Marta’s brother Cletus Bianchi, his wife Daphne, and their daughters Sophia and Marina, loved and supported John and Marta through the many long months of fighting metastatic prostate cancer. There are no words to adequately thank them. Marta and the Boone family will receive friends on Saturday, February 2, 2019 from 3:00 PM until 4:30 PM at Dettling Funeral Home, 14094 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77079. The Holy Rosary will be recited at 4:30 PM and the Memorial Service will begin at 5:00 PM in the chapel of Dettling Funeral Home. An onsite reception will follow the service. John’s degrees from the University of Texas gave him a life-long love of road-cuts, rivers, oil and gas, hydrogeology and every other facet of the science of Geology. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes memorial contributions to the “John C. Bianchi, Jr. & John L. Boone Endowed Presidential Fellowship.” This Fellowship was established in appreciation for The University’s excellent education which resulted in John’s lifelong geology career, and in memory of Marta’s father, John Bianchi, who was a 1949 UT geology graduate and had a long, successful oil and gas career as well. The Fellowship at their alma mater will be used to provide financial support to academically outstanding graduate geology students. Gifts may be made to “The University of Texas at Austin” with the check notation “JSG – Bianchi/Boone Fellowship” and sent to the following address: The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences, JGB 6.206F Attn: Belle German, Exec Dir 2305 Speedway, C1160 Austin TX 78724 Marta has a final request – Men, please have your PSA level checked regularly, for your and your family’s sake.
John Lawrence Boone died on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at his home in Houston. He leaves behind family and friends in abundance and a legacy of passion for life. John was passionate about his intellectual calling. He loved true science, particularly... View Obituary & Service Information
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