The Pinal Geology Museum and The Pinal Gem and Mineral Society are forever grateful to the family of John Weber for entrusting the Pinal Geology and Mineral Museum with his lifelong collection of minerals and fossils. The minerals and fossils number in the thousands and we honor his legacy.
John Henry Weber (1926 – 2015)
A Man of the Desert, John Henry Weber was born in Lone Pine, California August 15, 1926. At 4 or 5 months old, he was introduced to the Valley of the Sun by his father Edgar Arthur Weber, and mother June Hetrick Weber when they returned to their home in Phoenix. From that time on, he remained a Valley resident until he passed away on December 5, 2015, at age 89.
John is survived by Joy Lee Weber, his wife of 43 years; Sister, Maryanna Foster (Jack) of Tucson; widowed sister-in-law Beth Kelly Weber (Arthur Lynn); 4 nephews and 1 niece; and many great nieces and nephews. His brother, Arthur Lynn Weber 81 preceded John in death in 2009.
John and his brother Arthur Lynn attended primary grades in Tolleson, AZ, where their father owned and operated a bakery. The family moved to their new home four blocks east of the Arizona State Capitol in 1937. John graduated 8th grade from Adams School, graduated from Phoenix Union High School Class of 1943, and completed 1 year of postgraduate studies.
John joined the U.S. Navy in 1944 and was a sonar man and instructor aboard destroyers. John was honorably discharged in 1947 and returned to his home in Phoenix. After military service, John attended Arizona State University graduating with an honors degree in science. While attending ASU, John worked part-time for several nurseries in Phoenix. Upon graduating from ASU, he worked as a horticulturist at The Desert Botanical Gardens for 17 years and at the Phoenix Zoo. During his tenure at the Botanical Gardens, John traveled extensively in Mexico and other desert areas searching for little-known desert plants to bring back to the Botanical Gardens. John was a life member of The Desert Botanical Gardens.
Honorary Life Member of the Mineralogical Society of Arizona
John Weber was awarded an Honorary Life Membership in MSA at the December 2012 meeting by Dr. Raymond Grant on behalf of MSA Board of Governors. John joined MSA in March 1943 as a junior. In 1944 he was co-chair of the junior group but then left to join US Navy. By 1949, he was back and was co-chair of MSA Field Trips and actively directing the juniors.
From 1951 to 1957 he was on MSA Board of Governors. In 1961 after MSA founder Mr. Arthur Flagg’s death, he was one of five speakers at the MSA meeting, and he spoke about being a junior member and growing up under Mr. Arthur Flagg’s influence. Over the years because of family and work, he was not a continuous member of the MSA. In recent years he donated many good mineral specimens from his collection to the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum, the Mineralogical Society of Arizona, and other organizations. He was actively collecting minerals and fossils up until his death and had organized one unusual collection of incredible fossil brachiopods with a large number of species from all over the world. John was MSA family and will be remembered fondly for his generosity and kindness.
John Weber with the portrait of MSA founder Mr. Arthur L. Flagg at MSA October 2013 meeting. The portrait was presented to MSA at April 2, 1954 meeting by John. (This portrait is currently in possession of the Flagg Mineral Foundation.) The Rockhound Record report for that meeting tells the following: Johnny Weber, spokesman for the group of members who had been juniors or were currently junior members, said “we had it planned for two years, and it took seven sittings to complete. The only disappointment was we couldn’t surprise Mr. Flagg.” It was painted by Emmy Pusak and although they had raised funds to pay her, she was so taken with Mr. Flagg and the MSA juniors that she would not take any money for it.
Original article courtesy of The Rockhound Record, Volume 75, No. 2, February 2016Webber
One of several John Webber Cases graciously shared with the Pinal Geology Museum