Dr. J. Donald Rimstidt, an Emeritus Professor in our department, passed away peacefully this morning, March 24, 2019, at his home after a brief battle with a sudden illness.

Don was a long-tenured professor in our department, having served as department chair in the mid-2000’s and, since 2010, as an Emeritus Professor.  Don was an internationally renowned geochemist who literally wrote the book on geochemical rate modeling.  He spent most of his career at land-grant universities, having received his BS at Purdue and PhD at Penn State before coming to VT.  (An MS at Indiana and a one-year stint at the USGS complete his resumé.)

Don was a generous mentor whose door was always open to students, faculty, and staff.  He was a beloved colleague and collaborator who worked across scientific disciplines to solve both fundamental and applied problems in geochemistry.  He was an extraordinarily active emeritus professor, coming to the office every day, serving on graduate committees, publishing original research, and teaching right up until the end.  We will miss him greatly.

Our thoughts and condolences go to Don’s widow, Barbara, and his entire family.  We will pass along any information about memorial services as appropriate.

A more detailed tribute to Don's life can be found here: https://www.roanoke.com/obituaries/rimstidt-james-donald/article_923a8714-c213-527f-ad6f-06b83558f88c.html, and the Official Virginia Tech News' announcement can be seen here:  https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2019/03/Science-inmemoriam_donald_rimstidt.html.

To those who would like to make a donation in memory of Don, his wife Barbara has requested that memorial contributions be directed toward the J.D. Rimstidt Field Trip Fund in the Geosciences Department.

1. Send donations in care of the VTF: J D Rimstidt Field Trip Fund (860505)

University Gateway Center(0336)
902 Prices Fork Road
Blacksburg VA 24060

2. Or, give on line: https://give.vt.edu/ and do the following:

  • Insert the amount of the gift and click “Give Today"
  • On the next page, under “Select an Area”, pick College of Science. Under “Select a Fund”, pick Other. A new field called “Designation” will appear; enter J D Rimstidt Field Trip Fund there.