John Joseph Chiment passed away peacefully in his home in Ithaca, New York, on Sunday, September 16, 2012. John was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on December 5, 1950, the oldest son of John Anthony and Fides Chiment.
John graduated as Valedictorian from Poway High School in 1967 after only three years of high school and then spent a year with the American Field Service in Belgium. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego, in 1972. After serving as a medic in the United States Army, he continued his academic work, obtaining a Master's Degree in biology from San Diego State University and a Master's Degree in paleontology from University of California Berkeley. John went on to teach in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University, becoming the Director of the Cornell Institute for Biology Teachers. His other scientific accomplishments include designing an experiment on plant growth to be put into orbit with the NASA Challenger Space Shuttle, leading a team to determine the authenticity of the famous Our Lady of Guadalupe cloak, and directing many field projects, including the excavation of Mastodon sites in upstate New York. With his wife, he provided technical research assistance in the definitive three volume biography, "Francis of Assisi."
John was a loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his wife, Victoria Chiment; his mother, Fides Chiment of Poway; five brothers and sisters; two children; and four grandchildren.
The family requests that donations be made to Birthright International or St. Jude's Children's Hospital.