John Neal Bubb, geologist and beloved grandfather, father and husband died on May 10th, 2020, at his home in Austin, Texas from complications of Parkinson's Disease. He was 84 years old. You will never meet a kinder, gentler and wiser man than John - he will be remembered and missed.
Dr. Bubb was born on September, 17, 1935, in Weiser, Idaho to John and Reba Bubb. He grew up with his four siblings - Faye, Thea, Ron and Nola - in Huntington, Oregon. As a youth, he was a voracious reader and avid sportsman. John started working before he was ten years old on a bicycle route selling newspapers to his neighbors and soldiers in train windows on their way to World War II. As a teenager he enjoyed reading, playing basketball, and hunting and fishing with his Dad, 'Curly'. He went on to get his bachelor's and master's degree at Oregon State University, and then pursued a doctorate degree in geology at Indiana University. He worked several jobs to pay for his own school and support himself. He joined Humble Oil, which later became Exxon Mobil, straight out of school, moving to Houston. This was the beginning of a long career in petroleum exploration.
He met his future wife, Janet Jo (JJ) Robbins, while playing tennis with friends in Houston. A year later, when she invited him on a date, he realized she was expecting somebody else to show up and that he was the "wrong John." But they nonetheless continued dating and married soon after when he was transferred overseas for work in 1972. His next 11 years would take him to Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, England and finally, back to Houston. Dr. Bubb discovered the first material oil field in Malaysia, was part of international field developments in China, Russia, and the North Sea, and served on a prestigious international advisory board to Exxon's executives called ETAG. He was a lead author of the book Seismic Stratigraphy. It was written in 1977 and is still read and used by Exxon employees and geophysicists today.
When living in Malaysia, John became a proud father to his children, Robbin and Johnny. He dedicated his free time to his children, sharing his love of sports and the outdoors. His children fondly remember many camping trips-- canoeing down the Guadalupe River, sleeping in a cramped tent with a wet dog at night, and feasting on fried Spam and "Bubb Jacks" (pancakes with peanut butter and jelly). John went on countless fishing trips with his son Johnny. Never as joyous a sound been made as the hoots that came from John when he hooked his fly into a bonefish or a 20 inch rainbow trout. John loved to travel, and enjoyed taking his family on many trips overseas and throughout America. As a scientist, he could not help but give long lectures on the varied geological features, describing its long history and detailed composition when looking at any cliff, rock formation, or mountain. Unfortunately, his lectures were often beyond his family's intelligence.
Dr. Bubb worked brilliantly, tirelessly, and faithfully at Exxon for 35 years. He retired at 62, to enjoy golfing, bridge, traveling, philanthropy, volunteering, and being a father and grandfather. John and JJ treasured golfing all over the world, with their favorite trips being Kalos sailing excursions to Europe and New Zealand. Along with friend and colleague, Dennis Walton, John also went on a number of trekking excursions to the Himalayan mountains in India.
He was a devoted grandfather to 2 grandsons, Elijah and Micah, Robbin's sons - and then later to Miriam and Clara, Johnny's daughters. John and Janet Jo moved to Austin after 30 years of living in Houston, to be closer to their children's families.
John is survived by his wife, Janet Jo Robbins Bubb, his children Robbin Marroquin and Johnny Bubb, grandchildren Elijah and Micah Marroquin, Miriam and Clara Bubb, his sisters Nola Becket and Thea Hannibal, and his many beloved nieces and nephews.
A small private memorial service will be held at the Bubb's house in Austin next Monday, May 18th. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his name to our local Central Texas Autism Society.
Published in Tributes.com on May 10, 2020.