Paul Potter

Paul Edwin Potter

August 30, 1925 - July 4, 2020
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Paul Edwin Potter, age 94, died July 4, 2020. He was the second son of Edwin F. and Mabel Y. Potter, was born August 30, 1925 in Springfield, Ohio. All but his very earliest years were spent in southwestern Ohio-first in Cincinnati and later in Clermont County-where he went to a two room school from grades 5 through eight. Paul served in the U.S. Army in World War II, finished as a Private First Class in the Philippines in May 1946. After World War II he studied geology at the University of Chicago, spent nine years with the Illinois Geological Survey in Urbana, Illinois, where he also obtained a second MS degree in statistics. Subsequently, he spent a year at Johns Hopkins University, seven at Indiana University followed by 19 at the University of Cincinnati. In 1992 Paul retired from the University as Professor Emeritus and moved to Brazil to teach for seven years, but returned in 2001. Throughout his career Paul has done both research and teaching and in the process has studied geology mostly in the Eastern United States, Mexico, and across South America, especially in Brazil. Over his lifetime he has helped coauthor several books and many research papers, so he was well known not only in North America but widely abroad. The service will be held in the gazebo at Mt. Moriah Cemetery, 686 Mt. Moriah Dr., Withamsville, on Thursday, July 9th at 10 am with full military honors. Memorials may be directed to the Dr. Paul Edwin Potter Geology Fund at T.P. White & Sons Funeral Home serving the family.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Thursday, July 9, 2020 | 10:00am
    Thursday, July 9, 2020 10:00am
    Mt. Moriah Cemetery
    686 Mt. Moriah Road
    CINCINNATI, OH 45245
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    The service will be held in the gazebo on the eastern side of the cemetery next to the pond.
  • Interment

    Mt. Moriah Cemetery
    686 Mt. Moriah Road
    CINCINNATI, OH 45245
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Andrew Ward

Posted at 11:48pm
I think of Paul as a good friend who was always willing to talk about anything. Solving societies problems or just talking about the weather, we considered it a good day if we both had a laugh. He traveled the world extensively and always had a story to tell about his various adventures. He had met heads of state, corporate leaders, and taxi drivers. We would often go out to lunch or dinner together and I remember the first time I went to Bob Evans with him and the cooks, manager, and some of the waitresses came over and greeted him by name. This happened at several restaurants. You could show him a picture of a formation and he could tell you where in the world that picture was taken. I once tried to stump him with a photo of a formation on Mars. He liked to talk to the small family farmers about their corn and tomatoes at the weekend market by Lunken Airport. Later he would tell me about the various areas where the soil was best for the different crops. He enjoyed flying in vintage airplanes and was ecstatic about his ride in an old Ford Tri-Motor over the city. He managed to talk the pilot into flying over his condo so he could take pictures of his home. When he once wanted to do an aerial survey of the origin of the Great Miami River he did it in an early Piper Cub rather than a modern Cessna. During the war he was a forward observer which meant he would, by himself or with another soldier, travel through the jungle to spot the enemy and direct artillery fire on to their location. I often thought his terrain and map reading skills led him to take up Geology. Paul and I worked together on the photography and designs of his publications and teaching aids. He would always want to make sure we corrected every flaw so the final product was perfect. Now to give you a sense of his humor, when he asked me to take an “official” portrait of him, he kept the tie outside of his v-neck sweater I told him that was not how it’s supposed to be worn. Paul said he preferred it that way and gave me that wry smile. I could go on and on but Paul was never one to boast about himself, though judging by the awards, citations, and accolades he received over the years he could very well do so. I hope that those that are able to attend his funeral can share some of their stories of this wonderful person. I know he will be greatly missed. Andrew.

Joan Crockett

Posted at 06:23pm
Paul and I were friends for many years; we met in his annual visits to Illinois State Geological Survey and enjoyed meeting on field trips and at meetings. He was always such a kind gentleman and was very humble about his many accomplishments in sedimentary geology--his name and works are synonymous with Sand and Shale; his innate curiosity and wide-ranging interests were legendary. He received many awards for his work but he never forgot his many friends all over the world. Rest in Peace, Paul.

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 04:44pm
Prof. Paul Potter will be in our hearts and memories forever. Almerio Franca and family from Brazil.
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