News and Events
Former Petroleum Engineering chair dies at age of 73
Elmer Ellsworth Templeton III, who reshaped the Department of Petroleum Engineering and Geology at Marietta College from 1967-78, died Saturday (Feb. 23, 2008) at his home in Fleming, Ohio. He was 73.
Out of respect for President William Bay Irvine, who befriended Templeton during his days as a student, Elmer was excited to return to Marietta and put his mark on the program he loved. “I knew it was going to take a lot of work," he said in an interview in the fall of 2006.
However, his hard work and dedication made a lasting impact on hundreds of petroleum engineers—many of who are among the leaders in the field today. For a story in the College's Trailblazer newsletter, Clyde Crouch '70 said, "Elmer is a very engaging, very caring and a very demanding person. He has a lot of insight. He took a lot of personal interest in the kids at the school. With that you also get a guy who is a very cantankerous character. Elmer is very sincere and had a lot of energy to work on things for the greater good, not just for petroleum, but the College in general."
During his tenure, Elmer challenged traditional academia. “I hated the way faculty treated students. I didn’t believe a student was an arithmetic average. When a recruiter came to me and asked me for my best student, it wasn’t always the student with the best grades. I saw something different in my students other than an average.”
Many of those students have never forgotten what he meant to their careers, energizing 70 of his former students to challenge each other to create the Elmer Templeton Scholarship Fund. When 50 of them returned for homecoming in October 2006 they gathered to inform him of the more than $160,000 they raised to start the scholarship fund.
He was born Oct. 18, 1934, in Woodsfield, Ohio, to Elmer Ellsworth II and Lorna Strickling Templeton. He was a graduate of Woodsfield High School, a 1959 graduate of Marietta College, and received his master’s degree from Penn State University in 1961. His bachelor’s and master degrees are both in petroleum engineering. His early career was with Continental Oil Company and Phillips Petroleum. He ran his own consulting firm from 1978 to the mid-1990s.
He is survived by his wife, Patricia Leach Templeton, whom he married on March 22, 1985; a daughter, Stephanie Ann Becker (Calvin) of Whipple; a son, Phillip Alexander Templeton of Granville; a grandson, Alexander Philip Templeton; four stepchildren, Dawne Dougherty (Tom) of Eding, Minn., Alan Schultheiss of Allentown, Pa., Terri Sweeney of Wexford, Pa., and Lori Parker (Jim) of Williamstown, W.Va.; 14 stepgrandchildren; and a brother, Samuel Templeton (Dorothy) of Woodsfield.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Ruth Ann Oden Templeton, in 1983; and a brother, Stephen Templeton.
Donations may be made to the Elmer Templeton Scholarship Fund at Marietta College by calling 1-800-274-4704.