October 26, 2007

Carl K. Seyfert Jr., Buffalo State Geology Professor, Crash Victim ; Feb. 12, 1938 — Oct. 21, 2007

Dr. Carl K. Seyfert Jr., a longtime Buffalo State College geology professor, died Sunday in Erie County Medical Center from injuries in a car crash in Amherst on Oct. 16. He was 69.

Born in Pecos, Texas, Dr. Seyfert graduated from Hillsboro High School in Nashville, Tenn., and earned a bachelor's degree at Vanderbilt University and a doctorate in geology from Stanford University.

Born into a scientific family, his father was Dr. Carl K. Seyfert Sr., a Vanderbilt University astronomer who developed the school's observatory and discovered the Seyfert galaxy, a class of galaxies between a quasar and a normal galaxy.

Dr. Seyfert, of Amherst, came to Buffalo State College in 1967, and he taught until his retirement in 1998.

Considered kindhearted and well liked by his students, Dr. Seyfert wrote the first historical geology textbook that integrated plate tectonics into the history of the earth, and edited the Encyclopedia of Structural Geology and Plate Tectonics.

When classes concluded for the day, Dr. Seyfert enjoyed his first passion -- fishing, according to his wife of 47 years, the former Karen Morehead. His fishing destinations locally included the lower Niagara River and Cattaraugus Creek, and he also fished the Florida Keys and wild waterways of Wyoming.

"Fishing was a metaphor for his life," Mrs. Seyfert said. "He liked it more than mineral collecting."

Dr. Seyfert was a member of the Buffalo Geological Society and held memberships in many professional organizations.

Survivors in addition to his wife also include two daughters, Lisa Dolliver and Julie Lillis; and a sister, Gail Clayton.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. today in First Presbyterian Church, 21 Church St. in Lockport.


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