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Henry Walrond


10/14/1923 - 02/21/2014 Obituary
Henry Walrond Obituary
Henry Walrond was born October 14, 1923 in Fresno, California to Henry E. and Imogene Walrond. Henry attended school in Fresno and at Fresno High he excelled in swimming and diving, which were activities he enjoyed throughout his life.
Henry began college at Fresno State, but in 1943, enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He became a B-24 Liberator pilot as part of the 484th Bomb Group based in North Africa and subsequently Italy. During one mission, Henry and his crew were forced to bail out over Yugoslavia, and were listed as MIA. The entire crew was scattered far and wide, but they were reunited and helped by the partisans, and eventually returned to Italy unharmed. Henry flew an additional 30 missions.
After WWII, Henry attended University of Southern California where he received a Bachelor of Arts in 1949 and a Masters of Arts degree in Geology in 1951. During these years in the summer of 1947, Henry joined a group of 11 schoolmates and voyaged to Tahiti in a 110 foot U.S. Navy surplus subchaser. Their plan was to fish for sharks and sell the livers, but neither the sharks nor the Marquesa natives cooperated. Nevertheless, the trip was a successful two month adventure to the South Pacific and where Henry learned to deep dive with the native pearl divers. In addition, the group greeted and assisted the arriving Kon-Tiki and its crew. Henry continued his adventurous life, earning his Masters degree with a 28 square mile geologic mapping thesis in the Santa Ynez Mountains above Santa Barbara.
After graduation from USC, Henry began his geologic career with General Petroleum, doing petroleum geologic studies and geologic mapping in California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. In 1958, he located to Bakersfield, working for Sunland Refining and then Norris Oil Company. In 1974, he found his passion, becoming a successful and respected consulting petroleum geologist where he generated and sold petroleum prospects and performed geologic studies for many clients. At an age when many contemporaries had been retired for years, Henry continued the work he loved, showing up at his office every day ready to find that next drill site. And he was successful, discovering new oil pools at Midway-Sunset, North San Ardo, SE Raisin City, and Bellevue/Rosedale oil fields. His geologic success carried over to hard rock mining, when he and a group of friends acquired mining leases that subsequently have become part of the Mesquite Mine, one of the largest gold mines in the southwest U.S. Henry was an Honorary Life Member of the Pacific Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists for long and meritorious work for the society. One of his proudest accomplishments was the publication in 2007 of his and Robert Paschall's book, "Reflections on the San Andreas and San Gabriel Faults" that was written to further discussion on these important faults.
Henry enjoyed life and looked forward to each day. He was an avid reader, had many interests, often involved in some project, and enjoyed an after work swim at the Racquet Club until his 90th birthday. During his long and fruitful career, he made hundreds of friends who admired his enthusiasm, professionalism, and honesty.
Dedicated to and much loved by his family, Henry is survived by his wife of 54 years, Ann-Marie, his children Caroline, Eric and Katherine (Jerry) Bacon, granddaughter Kristina, his sister Martha Corbett, and her family. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Fanny Jane.
A luncheon reception to celebrate his life will be held at Stockdale Country Club on Friday, March 14 at 11am.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to .
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Mar. 1, 2014
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