J. Frank Rollins (1913-1999) was one of SEG's most active and longtime members. He was awarded SEG Life Membership in 1982 in honor of his contributions to exploration geophysics and to the SEG.
SEG lost one of its most active and longtime members when Frank Rollins died 13 June 1999, at the age of 85, at his home in Dallas, Texas, U.S. He was born 22 November 1913 in the small town of China, Texas (just west of Beaumont).
After graduating from Texas A & M University in 1934, he went directly into the newly developing geophysical industry where he was active for the next 51 years.
After two years with Petty Geophysical, he moved to Geophysical Service Incorporated where he worked in various field and supervisory positions until 1947. Frank then joined E. F. McMullin and Martin Kelsey to found RayFlex Explorations. After 15 successful years as president of Rayflex, Frank spent nine years as an independent consultant. Frank joined Bell & Murphy and Associates in 1971 and served as board chairman until retiring in 1985.
Frank joined SEG in 1939 and remained a very active member for the next 60 years. He was General Chairman of two SEG Annual Meetings in Dallas (1965 and 1974) and is the only person to have served in that position twice. He also served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Society in 1974-1975. He was awarded Life Membership in 1982 for his many contributions. Frank was also active in the Dallas Geophysical Society, serving as vice president in 1962 and president in 1967. That society awarded him an Honorary Life Membership.
I met Frank in the early 1940s. He and his family became close friends of my family while Frank worked with my father at GSI in Houston. During his career, he worked in many parts of the world. He lived and spent considerable time in South America. He was particularly proud of the fact that some of the contracts he negotiated turned out to be some of the longest GSI had. Frank loved the geophysical industry and often said he couldn’t have had a better career. He felt he was very fortunate to have had the opportunities he had.
Frank loved people. He also had a great sense of humor and an excellent memory. I think he remembered almost every person he had ever met and enjoyed relating incidents that occurred through the years. One of his many stories concerned a trip that he had made with Cecil Green. After a long, grueling, and tiresome 17-hour trip to Buenos Aires, Frank and Cecil decided that they needed to get into the “swing” of the time change and country by staying up. Finally, after forcing themselves to walk around, they decided to have a bite to eat. Worn out, tired, and having a lousy meal, Cecil turned to Frank and said, “I don’t think we’re having near as much fun as our wives think we are.”
- “Bill” Laing, W., Peacock, R., and Connor, P. (2000). ”Memorials.” The Leading Edge, 19(5), 548–549. doi: 10.1190/tle19050548.1