John K. Bellis, geologist, 46
John K. Bellis, a respected oil and gas geologist, died Thursday morning, June 22, peacefully in his sleep after a long and courageous battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. He was 46 and had recently moved with his family to the Vail Valley from Houston.John was a passionate scientist and worked as a senior explorationist with Davis Offshore L.P. John and the Davis team were instrumental in finding multiple oil and gas fields in the deepwater of the Gulf of Mexico. In 2003, he was honored by the naming of one of these discoveries as the J. Bellis Field.
In the summer of 2005, John and his family moved from Houston to the Vail Valley, fulfilling their dreams of mountain serenity and the quality of life in Colorado. John loved to travel and never missed an opportunity to teach his girls about the geologic history of each rock passed.Born in New Orleans, John graduated from high school in London, England. He received his Bachelor of Science in geology from Louisiana State University in 1983 and his Master of Science in geology from the University of New Orleans in 1990. He began his lifelong work in the oil industry with an independent company in Baton Rouge, La., and then was employed by the Atlantic Richfield Company – working onshore and offshore in the United States and internationally. He subsequently transferred to Vastar Resources before joining Davis Offshore in 2000.
He is survived by his loving wife of 18 years, Suzanne; daughters Hilarie, 13, and Avery, 11; parents Gerald and Mary Bellis of Lake Palestine, Texas; sisters and brothers-in-law Vickie and Bob Gerrard of Brandon, Miss., and Kathryn Bellis and Paul Root of Houston; brother and sister-in-law Steve and Mikie Bellis of Houston; and nieces and nephews including Holly Gerrard, Robin Gerrard Crocker, Rachel Root, Evan Bellis and Mitchell Bellis.John will always be remembered as a loving husband, devoted father, cherished son, brother, and trusted friend. His enthusiasm for travel and interest in cultures throughout the world was contagious. He maintained his faith and humor throughout his life. He was a member of Memorial Drive United Methodist Church.
Memorial services will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Beaver Creek Chapel in Beaver Creek. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Vail Mountain School – Scientific Scholarship Fund in memory of John Bellis; c/o Nancy Young, 3000 Booth Falls Road, Vail, CO 81657.