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John S. King, retired geology professor

Nov. 12, 1927 - March 15, 2013

John S. King, Ph.D., a retired geology professor at the University at Buffalo, died March 15 in his Town of Tonawanda home. He was 85.

Known as “Jack,” he was born in Buffalo and was a 1945 graduate of Kenmore High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Buffalo in 1955, graduating summa cum laude, then went on to earn a master’s degree in 1957.

Dr. King worked from 1959 to 1963 at the University of Wyoming, where he earned a doctorate in geology.

He went to work in UB’s department of geology in 1963. He worked there 33 years, directing the geology summer field camp for 27 years.

Concurrently, he worked with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, creating maps of Mars and Mercury and directing a NASA intern program for more than 20 years.

Throughout his career, he wrote papers on geology. A former department chairman at UB, he retired in 1996 and held the title of professor emeritus.

Since the 1970s, Dr. King owned a home in Monticello, Utah – in the southeastern part of the state. Captivated by the landscape, lifestyle and beauty of Utah, he created a summer sanctuary and spent time there annually, until recent years.

Mr. King enjoyed photography, painting and studying the geology of the West – always with a dog at his side.

A private memorial service was held Monday.

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