[MSA-talk] Rudy Tschernich

Julian Gray juliangrocks at gmail.com
Tue Dec 26 21:22:43 EST 2017

It is with profound sadness that I report the passing of Rudy Tschernich on
December 26, 2017. Rudy was born in Snohomish, Washington in 1945 and
developed a love for mineral collecting with an exceptional passion for the
zeolite group minerals that were so prevalent in his home in the Pacific
Northwestern United States. His collection of nearly 12,000 zeolites from
worldwide localities, most of them personally collected, was eventually
donated to the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals in Hillsboro,
Oregon. Rudy served on the board of the Rice Museum before being invited by
Museum co-founder, Sharleen Harvey, to join the museum as full-time curator
following his retirement from the U.S. Postal Service in 2003.  Rudy served
as curator of the Rice Museum until 2011.

Rudy was a dedicated field collector and was involved in many new
discoveries, most famously those of the Neer City Road site in Goble,
Oregon where three zeolites new to science were discovered in a small dig
site.  These minerals included boggsite, cowlesite, and a mineral that was
initially confused with apophyllite.  That latter mineral turned out to be
a new mineral that was named in Rudy’s honor: tschernichite (Boggs, et al.,
1993).  Rudy was involved in recording the mineralogy of many zeolite
locations, but arguably his greatest contribution to science was his 1992
book, *Zeolites of the World*, in which Rudy meticulously documented
thousands of zeolite localities.  Rudy was instrumental in the founding of
the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Friends of Mineralogy, which honored
him in 2000 with the Noble Witt Award for his self-less contributions.  He
was also recognized by the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals
which named its Northwest Gallery in his honor.

Rudy was active to the very end.  His last project was re-photographing his
entire zeolite collection using modern photomicrography techniques.  His
legacy lives on through his collections, his writings, his photographs, the
museum gallery that bears his name, and the lives he touched.  He was also
modest and wished no services be held in his memory. Nevertheless, we are
grateful for his contributions.

Boggs, R.C., Howard, D.G., Smith, J.V., Klein, G.L. (1993) Tschernichite, a
new zeolite from Goble, Columbia County, Oregon. American Mineralogist: 78:


Julian Gray, Executive Director

Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals
Hillsboro, Oregon

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