Gerald Carl "Gerry" Herfurth was born in Glendale, Los Angeles County, California on June 26, 1930, the son of Geraldine Wylie and Carl E. Herfurth (1887-1978), a life insurance actuary.
Gerry served as a second lieutenant in the National Guard (1948-1955) while attending Regis College in Denver from 1949 to 1953, earning a B.S. Degree in Business Administration. Having an interest in Chemistry, and possible also minerals, he was a member of the college's Chemistry Club. The 1965-1970 Denver City Directory lists him as a "mineralogist," living with his parents; around 1966 he married Hilja Karen ___, a native of Switzerland and an opera enthusiast. Apparently she became interested in minerals as well, because she subscribed to the Mineralogical Record from 1989 to 2014.
Gerry built a very fine collection of minerals and also some gems and meteorites, and was a member of the Meteoritical Society. He died in Lakewood, Colorado on December 16, 1998. His wife, Hilja, donated about 600 specimens (valued at $350,000) from his collection to the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum in 1999, and the rest, another 800 specimens (valued at $1.75 million), along with a cash bequest of $200,000, at the time of her death in 2016. "In terms of its volume and quality, [the collection] is just the very best," said museum director Bruce Geller.
A small portion of the collection is already on display at the museum while the rest is being catalogued and organized. Geller plans to keeps a steady rotation of items on display, and said this donation greatly increases the number of display-quality specimens in the museum's collection.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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||College graduation photo|
||Hilja and Gerry Herfurth|
||Specimens from the Herfurth Collection on display at the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum.|