Friday, 14 March 2008

In memory of Dr. Colin Parsons

I record with sadness the death of Dr Colin Parsons, who passed away peacefully on Tuesday 4th March, succumbing to the motor neurone disease which had been gaining the better of him for two years. Colin will be well known to workers on the Inferior Oolite formation from the many papers he published through the 1970s, working out the succession of ammonites in great detail, often from pits he painstakingly excavated by hand specially for the purpose. His comprehensive work covered the whole outcrop from the Dorset Coast, through Somerset and Yorkshire to the Isle of Skye, including re-determinations of many fossils and collections which had not been re-examined since the days of Buckman. After retreating from publication for almost thirty years due to his teaching commitments, he was embarking once more in retirement on a body of research. This included work in progress on the deposits at Dundry Hill and in north Dorset, benefiting from the assistance of mechanical plant for the excavations, but still applying his trademark meticulous observation, and contributing all the material to national academic collections.
I accompanied him on a number of his 'digs' and recall a kindly man whose immense knowledge never overshadowed his affable personality. He will be very much missed. Arrangements are in hand to publish obituaries in the Proceedings of the Bristol Naturalists' Society and other major geological journals. Further details on his funeral, his life's work, and proposals for memorial activities may be obtained from his close friend and working colleague John Huxtable, Telephone 01823 259395, e-mail
Alan Bentley

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