Dr. John D. Grace, a retired Western Michigan University faculty member, died May 21 due to complications following a fall. He was 79.
Grace joined the WMU faculty in 1969 and retired in 1997 as professor emeritus of geosciences after 27 years of service to the University. His work was featured in dozens of journal publications on mineralogy and geochemistry.
A Kalamazoo resident and certified scuba diver, Grace conducted research at Argonne National Laboratories in Chicago and other locations around the world. He hosted local field trips for the Geological Society of America as well as participated in University-sponsored field trips to the Grand Canyon and elsewhere.
After retiring, Grace spent the winter months in the Bahamas but remained active with the University, teaching summer courses. In addition, he took classes at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and volunteered as a docent at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo.
Grace belonged to the Kalamazoo Astronomical Society and the Kalamazoo Rock and Mineral Club.
Prior to coming to WMU, he taught at Antioch College and held a geophysicist research position at the University of California, Los Angeles. He also previously worked as a geologist with the Carter Oil Co.
Grace earned a bachelor's degree from Denison University in 1955, a master's degree from Penn State University in 1957 and a doctoral degree from the University of Leeds in 1963.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Kalamazoo Astronomical Society for its Telescope Project.