St. Lawrence Geology Alumni


To: St. Lawrence Geology and Geography Alumni

From: Mark Erickson

Date: March 4, 2004


I believe that many of you have already heard the news that Dr. Bloomer passed away on February 21, 2004.  As the senior member of the department, I may be the only one of us who actually met Bob in a business context in as much as Bob interviewed me for my position!  He was decidedly professional; even when dressed in khaki field attire he preserved the seriousness of purpose and obvious care for his department and his discipline that many of you came to understand from him.  He was a great teacher and a devoted Laurentian, taking pride in the college and in the Geology he studied.  We are glad that Doc enjoyed a long retirement when he could be visited by many of you for the recounting of the days in Hepburn Hall and lots of field places.  We are particularly aware of the sadness that comes to family when loved ones die and our deepest sympathy is certainly outgoing to the generations of Bob and Vera’s children and grand children for whom the loss of this patriarch is greatly felt.

The Rock Doc has gone and he will be missed.


TO:                  The St. Lawrence Community

FROM:           President Daniel F. Sullivan

RE:                  Robert O. “Doc” Bloomer

DATE:             March 3, 2004

With sadness I announce the passing of Chapin Professor Emeritus of Geology Robert O. “Doc” Bloomer, who served St. Lawrence
for decades as a preeminent member of our science faculty.  He died on February 21 in Morehead, North Carolina, his home since
retirement in 1972.

Robert Bloomer earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Virginia, and his Ph.D. from the University of North
Carolina.  After a year as a civilian instructor for the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Bloomer came to St. Lawrence in 1944 as an assistant
professor.  He taught next at Syracuse University and spent a year at Harvard University as a National Research Council Fellow.  He
returned to St. Lawrence as chair of the geology department in 1948.

Doc Bloomer was the model of a teacher-scholar.  He had an active research program in the Adirondacks and northern New York,
receiving three National Science Foundation grants to underwrite his studies of the geologic history of the Grenville Complex and
associated rocks.  He also studied in the Bear Tooth Range of Montana, the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, in Canada and in
Europe.  In 1963, Look magazine featured his work in an article entitled “Rock Doc,” earning him a nickname by which was referred
with great affection. In 1976, St. Lawrence dedicated Bloomer Auditorium in Brown Hall in his honor.

His wife, Vera, who also worked at St. Lawrence and was an active advisor to students, died on December 30, 2002.  Ann and I
send heartfelt condolences to their surviving children, Al ’64 and Dan ’71, their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and the many
alumni who remember Doc Bloomer with the respect we share.

Last Updated: 
March 18, 2004
Sarah McElfresh