John Longshore was a quiet man who touched the lives around him with courage, sincerity, kindness and strength. He died at home on October 23, 2012 with his wife, Judy, beside him.
John was born on March 8, 1936 in Birmingham, Alabama. After earning his undergraduate degree from Emory University and a Ph. D. from Rice University, he moved to Arcata to teach at Humboldt State in 1965. With the help of his friends and colleagues, John Young and Frank Kilmer, he developed the university's degree program in geology and taught, consulted, inspired and advised for 40 years. Throughout his career, his priority was his students for whom he held a deep affection, and his particular passion was to get them studying and working out in the field.
Teaching at the university was more than just a job for John; it was a calling. His indefatigable commitment to education earned John HSU's Outstanding Professor award in 1984. He was one of the founders of the HSU Natural History Museum and served as its first director when it opened in 1989. He valued highly the entire team he worked with in the geology department and the collaborative way they worked together.
John had a head for science and a heart for poetry. He moved to Humboldt County for work, but immediately fell in love with the peace and beauty that surrounded him. He was frequently spotted on local beaches and along quiet stretches of the Mad River. He embodied a deep and abiding appreciation of the natural world and took pleasure in living life.
John Longshore lived and died well. His passion for literature, for rocks and rivers, his sense of adventure and his generosity of spirit will be missed by all who knew him. He is survived by Judith Longshore, his wife of 48 years, his two daughters, Martha and Katherine, his three grandchildren, his brother, Bob Longshore and sister-in-law Eleanor and their children. His memory will be held by the countless students whose lives he touched.
A memorial service will be held at 7pm on Saturday, November 3rd at the United Methodist Church, 1761 11th St. Arcata. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Longshore Field Geology Endowment at the Humboldt State University, Gift Processing Center, 1 Harpst St. Arcata, CA 95521 (checks payable to the Humboldt State University Advancement Foundation).