|Birth: ||May 20, 1930|
|Death: ||Oct. 13, 2012|
October 25, 2012
Richard "RAP" Paull died on October 13, 2012 in Littleton, CO. Born May 20, 1930 in Madison, WI, he earned his three academic degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as serving two years as a Lieutenant with the U.S. Air Force in Research and Development. He left petroleum research after 5 years at Jersey Production Research Company in Tulsa, OK to develop the geology program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and served as the first departmental chair. He worked tirelessly for 34 years before retirement to establish a strong departmental reputation in the petroleum industry and to acquire student support. He created and led a 7 week summer field camp for geology students in the Rocky Mountains for 31 years, and he and his graduate students produced pioneering geologic maps and stratigraphic reports for southern Idaho. A Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Geology and Geophysics, he co-authored books and roadguides on the geology of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. He is survived by his geologist wife, Rachel Krebs Paull, after 58 wonderful years of marriage, and 3 strong, independent, loving daughters ; Kay Paull Pike (John) of Cedarburg. WI, Lynn Ellen Paull of Whitefish Bay, WI, and Judith Paull Vinson (Tom) of Conroe, TX. Also by brother Donald E. Paull (Carol) of Littleton, CO; brother-in-law Martin J. Krebs (Alice) of Sister Bay, WI and Bonita Springs, FL; and 5 grandchildren. Memorial donations may be made to The Nature Conservancy of Wisconsin, 633 W. Main Street, Madison, WI 53703. A celebration of his life and many adventures will be held on June 14, 2013 at Highline Crossing Co-Housing Community in Littleton, CO.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
By Jennifer Zahn Oct. 29, 2012
UWM Geology Professor Inspired Students with Love of Nature
One Halloween night, a pile of purloined pumpkins suddenly occupied the Paull family's driveway - a result of several carloads that University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee students accumulated on their drive to the Whitefish Bay home.
This trick was a treat for Richard A. Paull, a dedicated geologist and professor who established long-lasting relationships with those he taught.
"A lady down the street got all huffy because she wanted her decorative squash back," Rachel Paull, his wife, said. His daughter, Kay Pike, said the pumpkins were "lovingly diverted."
Known as "RAP" to many, Paull helped develop the geology program at UWM and served as the first department chair for 34 years, inspiring students with the wonders of the outdoors. The immersive, seven-week summer field camps in the Rocky Mountains he created and led his students on every summer for 31 years fostered enduring friendships and memories. Paull was 82 when he died Oct. 13 in Littleton, Colo.
Described as "the original Indiana Jones" by former student and current geologist Dave Gruber, Paull served two years as a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force's Research and Development sector after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in chemical engineering. But the outdoorsman in him took Paull back to school for two more degrees in geology, his wife said.
"He, just like I, was hooked by it - leaving all the blood, sweat and tears from chemistry behind," said Rachel Paull, also a geologist. "The prospect of working outside really called to him."
Paull spent years in petroleum research with companies like Exxon and Amoco before joining forces with Katherine Nelson to build the UWM geology department. Although he was a teacher, students often considered him family, according to Gruber, who assisted Paull with field work during the summer.
"His knowledge of the geology of southern and central Idaho was unrivaled," Gruber said. "But he was also a sportsman, a fan of nature and a family man, and admittedly at times, my 'dad.' "
On those trips, Paull and his students safely navigated through snowstorms on mountains, observed wildlife, hunted and fished, fought prairie fires and lived off the land, according to Rachel Paull and Gruber.
Pike said she recalled heating dinner in thermal hot springs and using mountain springs as makeshift refrigerators with her dad and his students.
"It's like we have a family of umpteen geologists - from those summer trips, in particular," his wife said. "It was like the military - you survived, and the bond shall never be broken."
Pike and her two sisters spent their summers out west, but she said she doesn't regret the 12 summers away from friends at home.
"In reality, we always had a better summer - it was a far better opportunity to experience things that other people never saw," Pike said.
Carol Stolz, a former student, said that Paull rejected the idea that geology was not for women, and was supportive of his daughters.
"It was a man's field," Stolz said. "More than once, RAP talked about how his daughters should be able to do anything a man should do. This philosophy also applied to us young women in his program."
Rachel Paull said her husband cared deeply for his students, using his connections in the petroleum industry to help them secure jobs and even bailing one out of jail.
"He gave a kid from Sheboygan an education that went well beyond the scholastics, and was my friend," Gruber said. "I take solace in the thought he is walking a ridge somewhere and smiling."
In addition to his wife and daughter, Kay, Richard A. Paull is survived by his daughters Lynn Paull and Judith Vinson, his brother, Donald Paull and five grandchildren. A celebration of his life and many adventures will be held on June 14, 2013, at Highline Crossing Co-Housing Community in Littleton, Colo.
Ethra Harold Paull (1900 - 1994)
Martha Maria Schaller Paull (1902 - 2004)
Created by: Meredith Leischer
Record added: Oct 24, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 99548411
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