AMHERST - Gerald Patrick Brophy passed away Wednesday, April 2, 2014, following a short illness.
Gerry was born Sept. 11, 1926, in Kansas City, Mo. Gerry's family moved to Westchester County, N.Y., and settled in New Rochelle, N.Y.
He graduated from Iona Preparatory School in early 1944 and enlisted in the U.S. Maritime Service, serving in the North Atlantic region until the end of hostilities.
Entering Columbia University, he completed his undergraduate and doctorate studies in geology in 1954 and accepted a faculty appointment at Amherst College where he served until 1998, retiring as Hitchcock Professor of Mineralogy and Geology. During his studies at Columbia, supported by the Atomic Energy Commission, he helped explore the uranium potential of central Utah and discovered a new uranium-bearing ore mineral. During his tenure at Amherst, he also maintained consulting operations with several mining companies in the U.S., Canada, and South Africa, in addition to conducting geological investigations in Pakistan, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mexico.
From 1978 to 1980, taking a leave from Amherst College, he managed the department of energy programs for potential geothermal resources in the lower 48 contiguous United States.
For many years, he was a member of the Yellowstone Bighorn Research Association serving as counselor and president. Other professional memberships included the Geological Society of America, the Mineralogical Society of America and the Society of Economic Geologists. The Geological Society of America established at his urging and request, the undergraduate membership program and a section of the society encouraging the Northeastern U.S. and adjacent Canada, to concentrate on studies within that unique geological region.
Gerry is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Joanne Young Brophy, son Thomas, daughter-in-law Laura, and granddaughter Katherine of Brooklyn, N.Y., and son James, daughter-in-law Evelyn and granddaughters Jennifer of Bloomington, Ind., and Sarah of Chicago, Ill.
His eldest son William Michael predeceased him.
Private funeral services will be held soon, and a public memorial service will be held at a later date.
Obituary and memorial register at www.douglassfuneral.com.
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Douglass Funeral Home
87 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Apr. 5, 2014