Paleonet: John Pojeta, thank you

Roger D. K. Thomas roger.thomas at
Sat Jul 22 02:39:26 GMT 2017

 Dear Tricia,

     Many thanks both for sending me the sad news of John Pojeta’s death
and attaching his obituary.   Mary Lou called late this afternoon, and we
had a long heart-to-heart chat.  John and Mary Lou have been wonderful
friends to me, personally and professionally, throughout my career.  I will
miss John greatly.  I very much regret that he will not see the publication
of our new evidence bearing on the nature and evolutionary
relationships of *Pelagiella.
 *He was one of the first to hear of our discovery of preserved sets of
chaetae, about which we talked many times.

     Warm regards,   Roger

On Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 4:14 PM, Kelley, Patricia <kelleyp at> wrote:

> It is with great sadness that I report the death of John Pojeta to his
> colleagues. John will be long remembered and greatly missed!
> Mary Lou Pojeta asked me to post the following on PaleoNet.
> Dr. John Pojeta, Jr. passed away on July 6th, 2017 at Casey House,
> Rockville, Maryland. John is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary Lou,
> his daughter Kim (TJ Oakes), son John (Christine Linn), brother Martin
> (Linda Pojeta), niece Lee Ann Selkowitz (Eric Selkowitz), plus six
> grand-children and two great-grand-children.
> John is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where he founded a
> life-long domestic and professional partnership with Mary Lou. After
> graduation, he was appointed to the U.S. Geological Survey and served as
> geologist, paleontologist, and eventually Branch Chief through a rich and
> distinguished career. Since retirement in 1994, he remained active as
> Scientist Emeritus with the U.S.G.S. and a Research Associate of the
> Department of Paleobiology at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History.
> John’s career focus was Ordovician and Cambrian mollusks. He will be
> remembered for outstanding teamwork on fossils from Kentucky, Australia,
> and Antarctica as well as many other parts of the world. He was a
> career-long member and enthusiastic supporter of numerous professional
> organizations, but especially of the Paleontological Research Institution
> and the Paleontological Society. His and Mary Lou’s contributions are
> celebrated by the Pojeta Award (
> awards/pojeta-award), which commemorates their indefatigable and
> splendidly cheerful service to the Paleontological Society and its members
> over several decades.
> A celebration of John Pojeta’s life will be held at a future date. In lieu
> of flowers, please send donations to Casey House hospice, Rockville, MD,
> the Paleontological Research Institution, or to the Paleontological Society.
> Dr. Patricia H. Kelley
> Professor Emerita of Geology
> Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences
> University of North Carolina Willmington
> Wilmington, NC 28403-5944
> kelleyp at
> _______________________________________________
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> Paleonet at


Roger D. K. Thomas
John Williamson Nevin Professor of Geosciences, Emeritus
Department of Earth and Environment
Franklin & Marshall College
P.O. Box 3003
Pennsylvania 17604-3003
Office telephone:   717-358-4135
Office fax:     717-358-4186
Home telephone:    717-560-0486
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