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In Memory of Stuart Alan Levinson


levinsonStuart Alan Levinson died on May 11, 2013, at the age of 91. Born in Detroit Michigan (1920), his early interests were chemistry, singing, and horseback riding. His early college education at Wayne State University was interrupted by WW II. He served in the Pacific Theater and spent time in Guadalcanal, New Guinea, and finally the Philippines. Following the war, he completed his undergraduate education at Wayne State, obtaining degrees in chemistry, music, and geology. In a geography class at Wayne State, he met Sylvia Spector, who became the love of his life.

With his new bride, he continued his education at Washington University (St. Louis), from which he was granted a Master's degree and PhD in paleontology. Stuart knew he wanted to work in the oil industry, came to Houston, and was immediately hired by Humble Oil and Refining. Stuart remained at Exxon for 35 years and helped develop the science of micropaleontology as a methodology for exploring for oil.

He was an active member of SEPM, The Paleontological Society, AAPG, and GSA. He was a founding member of GCSSEPM and received a Distinguished Service Award from us for his service.

Stuart was one of the first at Exxon to receive an IBM PC at Exxon and immediately recognized its importance. He actively wrote exploration-related programs that were used by Exxon and other companies. Stuart taught courses throughout Houston, which allowed him to apply his knowledge of chemistry and geology to explain in simple terms the effects of soil and climate on the chemistry of converting grapes to wine.

Stuart was a long-time member of Congregation Emanu El and was active with the Houston Jewish Federation as well as JCC.