John Reynold Fuhrbach, 78 died peacefully at his home in Las Cruces, NM, on the morning of May 4th, 2010, with his wife, Patricia at his side. He was born in Amarillo, Texas, the only child of Angela Hoenig Fuhrbach and Johann "John" Fuhrbach on March 31, 1932. At a very young age he became interested in science and how natural forces interacted with one another to create the world...

John Reynold Fuhrbach, 78 died peacefully at his home in Las Cruces, NM, on the morning of May 4th, 2010, with his wife, Patricia at his side. He was born in Amarillo, Texas, the only child of Angela Hoenig Fuhrbach and Johann "John" Fuhrbach on March 31, 1932. At a very young age he became interested in science and how natural forces interacted with one another to create the world as he began to know it. This led him to study chemistry, geology, mineralogy, physics and related disciplines in order to try and understand the natural world he so much enjoyed. His ever growing fascination and curiosity with science and nature would carry through to his university studies resulting in a degree in chemistry and a lifelong passion for gems and minerals. After graduating from Bradley University in Peoria, IL and majoring in chemistry, John then served his country as a commissioned officer in the United States Naval Reserve at sea. His military enlistment and deployment gave him the opportunity to travel and explore the world, and instilled in him a desire to see as many of the continents and diverse global cultures as possible. John was also an apprentice goldsmith to his father in their family jewelry store by the young age of just 8 years, and continued studying gold-smithing, and jewelry fabrication and design throughout his entire life. In order to better understand the gem materials he was working with, John also spent one year studying gemology and gemstones with the Gemological Association of Great Britain, and in 1958 garnered the title of "Fellow of the Gemological Association of Great Britain" and was cited as the only overseas student to receive its diploma "With Distinction in Gemology" that year. In addition to his work with the Gemological Association of Great Britain, John also studied gemology with the Gemological institute of America. In 1959 he was awarded the Gemological Institute of America's highly regarded Graduate Gemologist diploma, and he was classified in the top 5% of all students enrolled in that educational program. In 1967, the prestigious Diamonds International Awards recognized John's designing talent and included one of his diamond ring designs in the Best 80 Collection which was selected from 2400 designs submitted to the competition from designers all around the world. Fuhrbach worked in the family jewelry store for years advancing his skills as a jeweler and internationally credentialed gemologist. In 1967 he branched out on his own designing and creating very unique, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces for clients throughout the Texas panhandle. John was an expert on the gemstone peridot, which he found to be particularly fascinating because of its diverse terrestrial as well as extraterrestrial origins. He traveled to a number of geologically interesting localities and explored for, and field collected gemological and mineralogical samples of peridot, which led to the publication of several major articles on the subject in the most important professional gemological journals. In many respects John's scholarly knowledge far exceeded the formal schooling he experienced, and in one particular instance that astounded family and friends, he constructed his own Tesla coil. He had a lifelong fascination with scientific matters and a remarkable grasp of the abstract. He was an incredibly generous man who delighted in doing for others . After many years in Amarillo, Texas, John and his wife, Patricia moved to a retirement home in Las Cruces, NM, in 2008. It was the beautiful mountains visible from their new home which allowed them to explore nature on long walks together right outside the back door, and the close proximity to an important New Mexican peridot deposit that John had explored and written about, that attracted them to settle in the area. John Fuhrbach was a modern day renaissance man and had many diverse interests including advanced ballistics, big game hunting and photography, deep sea fishing, hiking, gem and mineral collecting and the earth sciences, faceting gemstones and the lapidary arts, storytelling and writing, and traveling the world. He was a man who loved being with his family and friends and sharing wonderful stories and jokes. He was romantic, innovative, optimistic, adventurous, and had a great sense of humor. John is survived by his beloved wife, Patricia of the home, daughter, Kelley D. Fuhrbach of Lake Hills, Texas, daughter, Joanna T. Fuhrbach of Taos, NM, son, Christopher Fuhrbach of Taos, NM, son Honz R. Fuhrbach, and grandson Dillon Vikari of Lake Hills, Texas. At his request, a family memorial will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make donation to CLL Global Research Foundation c/o Dr. Michael Keating, Unit 428, P.O. Box 301402, Houston, TX, 77230-1402, or to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 3411 Candelaria NE, Suite M, Albuquerque, NM 87107, or to the Gemological Institute of America at http://www.gia.edu/about-gia/support-gia/make-a-donation/CORP donationform WDF0309.pdf PDF Printable Version

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