Peter Roy Johnson
by John R. CastaƱo
from TSOP Newsletter 6 (1), April 1989
Peter R. Johnson died January 9, 1989 of an aortic aneurism in Katy, Texas. There was no previous history of heart problems. Peter was born on April 14, 1955 in Berwin, Wisconsin. When he was very young the family moved to Geneseo, Illinois, where he received his primary and secondary education. He received a B. S. in Geology from Iowa State University, where he completed a B.S. thesis under Don Biggs on macropetrographic coal seam description. Peter then went to the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, where he completed his M.S. degree in 1979.
His thesis committee was Ralph Langenheim, Dick Harvey and Tom Phillips. His thesis was based on a study of the petrology of the Herrin (No. 6) coal member in a southern Illinois coal mine. Because the Geology Department at the University of Illinois does not have any facilities for studying coal, Peter learned coal petrology and did most of his work in the Coal Section of the Illinois State Geological Survey in Urbana.

Peter started his career with Shell in 1979, working in the Geochemistry Services Group at the Bellaire Research Lab in Houston, Texas, where he supervised the organic petrology activities and carried out geochemical interpretive studies. His next assignment was in Geology Research from 1984 to 1986. He developed (with others) improved programs for modeling the thermal history of sedimentary basins. These programs, "STRETCH" and "TTM", are the ones in use in Shell today. From 1986 to 1988 Peter worked in the North Alaska District where he was responsible for the geochemical studies in conjunction with two major lease sales in the Arctic Ocean. In 1988 he returned to the Research Lab where he became the Project Leader of the Geochemistry Services Group.

Peter was a founding member of TSOP, and a member of the AAPG. In his limited spare time he was a Cub Scout leader, and he was involved in flying radio controlled model airplanes. On top of his considerable scientific achievements, Pete Johnson will always be remembered for his engaging personal qualities, his friendly personality, and the cheerful, enthusiastic attitude that he adopted no matter how many projects were heaped on him. He was genuinely interested in the welfare of his fellow workers, and he was proving to be an excellent supervisor. His presence will be sorely missed by his family and his friends.