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June 30, 1863 ó April 8, 1944


John A. Grenzig passed away on Saturday, April 8th, 1944, in his 80th year. In his passing those of us who knew him have lost a true friend and everyone with a love for minerals, the world over, an inspirational colleague and companion.

His little ads will appear no more in the mineral magazines, ads which really antedate most of us for they started appearing in the pages of the ancient "Mineral Collector" many long years ago. We shall not see his friendly face, or hear his friendly words, at the mineral meetings. We shall never again walk down the dark street, see the crystals in the window, hear the jangle of the doorbell and meet him face to face in the little shop.

His were not great deeds. He did not get his name in the newspapers, write learned articles, make his fortune; and we have no list of particular material accomplishments. All we know of him is that he was a hard and efficient worker at his trade, electrician and sale of electrical appliances, and that he was, beyond that, a student and lover of minerals such as all of us should aspire to be. And he was honest, with a deep sense of integrity, and deep down inside he had true friendliness and liking for other people.

There are few of us who have a kindred feeling for minerals who did not know him because of that. In my own case, he was one of the first collectors I ever knew, and some of my first, and most treasured, specimens were purchased from him. In all the years since then I never remember him without a friendly greeting, a friendly chat and a feeling of



pleasure afterwards for having seen him. And so many times, I recall his sympathetic attitude towards beginners, especially youngsters, and his willingness to help impart to them some of his own knowledge and to help buildup their interest in the subject he loved. I can see him now picking up a specimen, wondering about it, studying it with his lens and trying to understand what lay behind its pattern. That is the spirit of the true student, and he was always that. His fine collection was another proof of how far he had gone with his hobby.

But we knew him best of all because he had a deep, inner liking for humanity, and we were his friends chiefly because of that. How could we fail to like him in return? And that is where he will be especially remembered, by all of us, because he was our friend and because he had kindness in his soul for others. Those were his great deeds, his learned articles and his fame. They were truer greatness, by far, for those qualities of the spirit live on forever. And even as we mourn the passing of him now, his spirit, his kind smile, his hand clasp and his friendship continue to be felt among all of us, all of us his friends.

Arthur Montgomery.


Obituary written by Arthur Montgomery, Published in and Transcribed from Rocks and Minerals Magazine, May 1944 Issue, pg 144, by Ed Grenzig on 4/25/2004.

John is Edís Great Grandfather.