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Joseph E. Worthington III

June 18, 1931 - September 3, 2019

Joseph E. Worthington III passed away September 3, 2019, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.  Joe was born in 1931, in East Orange, NJ.  His parents were Joseph E. and Eleonore H. Worthington.  He grew up in the area and enjoyed attending Yankee games with his father.  Joe was also a Boy Scout, becoming an Eagle Scout.  Attending Philmont Scout Ranch during high school was the inspiration for his interest in geology.  He graduated from Williams College in 1953 with a degree in Geology and completed a MS in Economic Geology at Columbia University in 1954.  Soon thereafter, Joe started with the ASARCO Mining Company.  He served in the Army, from 1956 to 1958, working for the Beach Erosion Control Board as a geologist.  Joe married Helen F. Weissenborn in 1959 and moved to Tucson, Arizona in the summer of 1960 to work for Bear Creek Mining Company in its exploration department.  While with Bear Creek, he transferred to Salt Lake City, Utah, followed in a couple of years by a transfer to Knoxville, Tennessee.  Joe and Helen had three children, in the first half of the 1960’s, Bill, Sally, and Ted.  In 1967, the family moved to Spokane, Washington so Joe could take a job with Cyprus Mining Company.  While there, he oversaw exploration in the Northwest and eventually the entire U. S.  In 1976, Joe transferred to the head office in Los Angeles, California.  In 1978, he took a new job with the Caithness Corporation, back in Tucson.  While still in Tucson, he worked as a consulting geologist until 1982.   Joe moved to Colorado in 1982 to take a new job with Houston Minerals, which became Tenneco Minerals, placing him in charge of exploration in the U. S. and Canada.  While working for Tenneco, Joe and his family moved to Evergreen, Colorado in 1983, where he lived for thirty-three years.  In 1985, he became an independent consulting geologist, again, this time working in the U. S. and abroad.   In the summer of 1988, he took a position with ASARCO, still working in exploration outside the U. S. and stayed there until he retired in 1996.  After his “retirement” Joe continued to work as a consulting geologist both in the U. S. and abroad until about 2010.  Joe received the Ben Dickerson III Award, from the Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration for his professionalism and contributions to mining exploration in 1997.  Joe published about 20 refereed articles in various geological journals.  Joe’s work involved a lot of traveling, but in retirement, he traveled to different parts of the world for fun, including Chile, Spain, Greece, Scotland, Mexico and New Zealand.  He enjoyed visiting his children and granddaughter over the last 20 years.  His children inherited his love of the outdoors and reading.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents and his wife Helen.  He is survived by his three children Bill, Sally (Jake Knauss), and Ted (Kim) and his granddaughter Emma F. Worthington.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his name can be made to:

Williams College – Alumni Fund

Be sure to add:  In memory of Joseph Worthington ‘53



or the Weissenborn Scholarship Fund at Eastern Washington State University:

EWU Foundation

Albert E. Weissenborn Geology Scholarship

Attn:  Chandra Shumacher

Director of Advancement Services

102 Hargreaves Hall

Cheney, WA 99004


Donors will need to put information under “Additional Information” or Comments, both at the bottom of the page and specify:  Albert Weissenborn Geology Scholarship, in memory of Joe Worthington or the money goes into the general fund






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