Dr. Joseph Zemanek, Jr. – January 1, 1928/October 5, 2015

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ZemanekDr. Joseph Zemanek, Jr. was born to Joseph and Kristina Zemanek on a farm near Blessing, Texas. He was the youngest of five siblings. He grew up on the farm where his father raised cotton to sell and corn to feed their animals. In his formative years working on the farm, Joe truly learned the meaning of “hard work” which provided motivation when studying became harder in college. He attended Blessing public schools and graduated as valedictorian at the age of 16. He enrolled in the University of Texas in 1944 to study Electrical Engineering. After 18 months of study he joined the Army for 18 months in March 1946. After his discharge, he resumed his studies at the University of Texas and graduated in August 1949 with a BSEE. Before graduation, he was elected to the honorary Freshman Electrical Engineering fraternity, Eta Kappa Nu and to the honorary Engineering fraternity, Tau Beta Pi.

While studying at the University, he met his future wife, Maurine Hamilton. He married Maurine on May 13, 1950 at the First Baptist Church, in Austin, Texas. Their union produced two daughters, Marsha Lynn and Brenda Kay. After graduation, he received an offer of employment from General Electric as a Test Engineer and moved to Schenectady, New York. While living in Syracuse, NY he received a letter from President Truman, requesting that he report to Fort Hood for Korean War duty. Because Joe had not completed Basic Training during his first tour of duty at the end of WWII, he was sent to Camp Riley, Kansas to complete Basic Training. After completing Basic Training, he remained at Camp Riley until his discharge. Maurine joined him in Manhattan, Kansas.

With his Army service completed, Joe decided to look for employment in Texas and accepted a job at Magnolia Oil’s Field Research Laboratory in Duncanville, Texas. Later, Magnolia became Mobil Oil. In 1958, he was awarded Mobil’s incentive fellowship, which allowed him to pursue graduate studies toward a doctorate degree at a University of his choosing. He chose the Department of Physics at University of California in Los Angeles. He enrolled in June 1958 and was awarded a PhD in Physics on August 10, 1962. During his studies at UCLA, he was elected to Sigma Xi., the honor society for science and engineering.

After 39 years, Joe retired from Mobil Oil in 1990 as Senior Scientist (Mobil Oil’s top Technical position), having been awarded 50 patents during his employment and publishing 13 technical papers.

Most of the patents dealt with applications in the oil industry but one of the patents was especially fulfilling to Joe, because it dealt with describing the sound field of an acoustic transducer used to image inside of a well bore.
This development led to a better understanding of the performance of sonic imaging tools used in the medical profession.

He was awarded the Kaufmann Gold Medal by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists in 1971. He was a member of the Society of Professional Well Log Analysts and was awarded their Gold Medal for Technical Achievement in June 1990. He was a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and in 1992 was awarded their Formation Evaluation Award for distinguished contributions to petroleum engineering.

None of these accomplishments would have been possible without his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He met the Lord after Maurine came into his life. He began to attend church and soon came to realize that the Bible held the answers to many questions that he had. While working for GE, he accepted the Lord Jesus as his Lord and Savior and was baptized on his 21st birthday at the First Baptist Church in Schenectady, New York. He adopted as his verse of scripture from Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” He learned it was more important to please the Lord and not people.

Joe and Maurine became members of various Baptist churches whenever his career took him to a new place of employment. While in Dallas, they joined Beverly Hills Baptist Church and Joe was immediately put to work as a Sunday school teacher. Joe also held other church offices including Deacon and Elder. As Joe grew spiritually and after working for the Lord for a number of years, he came to know his Lord closely, and realized that the Lord didn’t need his help. He came to understand what an honor it was to be called to serve Him. Joe’s last church home was Grace Covenant Church in Desoto.

He traveled extensively throughout the world (Canada, England, Libya, Nigeria, Iran, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Norway, Indonesia, Hong Kong, & Japan) performing work for Mobil’s affiliates and representing Mobil Oil by presenting technical papers on the latest developments in petroleum well logging technology. Because his parents were both immigrants of Austro-Hungarian Empire prior to Czechoslovakia being formed, he became interested in genealogy. With the help of his cousin (Zdenek Zemanek) in Europe, he was able to trace his European ancestors to 1588. On several trips on behalf of Mobil to Europe or the Middle- East, he was able to visit his aunts, uncles and cousins in Czechoslovakia.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Liddie Pavelka; brother, Victor; sister, Martha Johnston; and daughter, Marsha Lynn Zemanek Snow.

He is survived by his wife, Maurine; his daughter, Brenda Kay Zemanek Nunley; son-in-law, Mark Nunley; son-in-law, Ray Snow; four grandchildren and their spouses, Matthew Snow & spouse, Jenny, Bonnie (Snow) Daman & spouse, John, Ashley (Nunley) Lillis & spouse, Chris, Courtney (Nunley) Coffman & spouse, Ben; sister Sidney Bridewell; & six Great-grandchildren.

jaynesJoe passed away at home after a short fight with cancer, surrounded by family and his caretakers. The family wishes to express our gratitude for the compassionate care and love of his caretakers, Jackie Williams, Chastity Bowen and Linda Bell. We also wish our thanks VNA Hospice for their care during this difficult time.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to do so can make a donation in Joe’s name to Grace Covenant Church 335 South Parks Dr. Desoto, TX