BAM Biographies:   Kurt Servos


Kurt Servos was born in Anrath, Germany in 1930, and his family immigrated to the United States near the beginning of World War II. He passed away April 29, 2007. They settled in New Jersey, where his father opened a store. He received a full scholarship to Rutgers University, graduating with a bachelor's degree in geology in 1952. He received a master's degree in geology from Yale in 1954 and joined the Stanford University faculty as an assistant professor of mineralogy in 1957. While there, students voted him runner-up in Stanford's first "Red Hot Profs" contest, and he helped lead the cheer before a Stanford vs. San Jose State football game with two other popular professors.

After his father died, Professor Servos left Stanford to return to New Jersey to run the family store. But after a time, he came back to the West Coast and accepted a professorship in 1967 at Menlo College in Atherton, a post he held until he retired in 1994. He was one of the founders of Bay Area Mineralogists in 1972. Colleagues remember him as a dedicated teacher who took his students on far-flung field trips to study the geology of Hawaii and the Grand Canyon. He had a curmudgeonly way, but those who took the time to know him found a generous man with passionate and varied interests. "He was a very dedicated teacher, and he had a very good following among our students," said Menlo College's recent past president, Carlos Lopez.

Kurt was involved in local civic endeavors, serving on the Menlo Park Bicycle Commission (1997-2005) and the Trees for Menlo Committee for many years and was a certified track and field official at Northern California track meets. Kurt was also a huge fan and collector of the Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher.

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