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Joseph B Halbig

July 19, 1938 ~ December 27, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old

Joseph Halbig Obituary

Joseph B. “J.B.” Halbig, 85, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, passed away December 27, 2023, at his home surrounded by loved ones.

He was born July 19, 1938, in Sparta, Illinois, to Joseph E. and Pauline (Genisio) Halbig.

On September 5, 1960, he married Mhnora Rose Searcy of Wood River, Illinois. To this union two daughters were born: Valerie (Halbig) Dunkel and husband John of Mount Carmel and Cynthia (Halbig) Johnston, also known as “Cindy”.

On June 3, 1986, he married Kathleen Thomas in Hilo, Hawaii. To this union they had one daughter, Susan (Halbig) Leonard and husband Elliot of Albuquerque, New Mexico. In addition to his three daughters, he has two stepchildren, a daughter, Jessica (Thomas) Brigulio and husband Jason of Newport Beach, California, and son, William Thomas and wife Erin of Fort Collins, Colorado.

He is also survived by his grandchildren: Marcerie (Dunkel) Hocking of Mt. Carmel, Illinois, Evan Dunkel and wife Beth of Cincinnati, Ohio, Chris Johnston of Evansville, Indiana, Karmen (Johnston) Macke and husband Josh of Mt. Carmel, Illinois, and Milo and Avery Leonard of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Mia and Dylan Brigulio, Newport Beach, California, and Anna Thomas of Fort Collins, Colorado. Great-grandchildren: Thayer Hocking, Jayden and Brooklyn Dunkel, Khade, Alayna, and Olivia Johnston, Mason, Coen, and Ava Macke. Preceding him in death are his parents and daughter, Cindy (Halbig) Johnston.

Dr. Joseph Halbig joined the US Army reserves while at Mount Carmel High School. Upon graduation in 1956, he went to boot camp at Ft. Leonardwood, Missouri and was assigned to a NIKE base in New Jersey and Connecticut. He served in supply and was a chemical, biological, and radiological specialist. He received an honorable discharge as a Specialist 4th class from the Army in 1958, before attaining the age of 20.

Joe entered Southern Illinois University in 1958 and graduated in 1962 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geology, with a Mathematics minor. He sought further education at Penn State University, where he received a Master of Science degree in Mineralogy and Petrology in 1965. He continued at Penn State and earned a PhD in Geochemistry in 1969. His research involved trace elements and isotope geochemistry in sulfide mineral systems. From 1969 to 1975 he was an Assistant Professor of Geology at the State University of New York, Geneseo.

In 1975, Joe joined the department of chemistry at the University of Hawaii at Hilo as a professor of chemistry. In 1985, he founded the geology department as the professor of geology where he stayed until his retirement from the academic world in 1996. He taught more than 10 courses concerning volcanic gases and geochronology. He founded the academic program in geological sciences and helped to develop The Center for Study of Active Volcanoes. In 1965, Joe received the University of Hawaii Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching. He retired after 27 years of teaching as an Emeritus Professor of Geology, Joe was very active during his academic career. He sat on review panels, developed short courses, participated in workshops and conferences, and is an author or co-author of numerous publications in papers.

Above all else, Joe loved his family and many animal companions (dogs, cats, bunny). He also enjoyed the outdoors, watching wildlife, gardening, hiking, and camping. He was an avid sports fan, rooting for his alma mater Penn State University. He will be greatly missed by all who had the honor of working with him and loving him as a husband, father, and grandfather.

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