William E. “Bill” Gipson, an Honorary AAPG Member and a stalwart, award-winning supporter of the AAPG Foundation and Foundation Trustee Associates, died March 23. He was 98.
A native of Winters, Texas, Gipson started his college career at Southern Methodist University, where he played on the school’s football team, but his education was interrupted in 1944 by a stint in the U.S. Navy, seeing action in Borneo and other Pacific Ocean areas. After the war he enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin, earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in petroleum geology.
He joined AAPG in 1949 and started his career in petroleum geology with the Ohio Oil Co. in Midland, Texas, and as an independent consultant before moving to Houston in 1967 as senior vice president of exploration for Pennzoil Co. Ten years later he moved to Pennzoil’s subsidiary Pogo Producing Co., where he served as its president, COO and board member until his retirement.
Gipson was an active member of AAPG throughout his career, and in 1977 was a founding member of the Foundation Trustee Associates. With the TAs he served as vice chair in 1987-88 and chair in 1989-90.
With the Foundation he was a Member of the Corporation in 1996-2006, and a Trustee from 2006-15, serving time as both treasurer and on the Audit Committee. In 2008 he was on the Foundation’s ambitious and successful Capital Campaign Committee.
Gipson received AAPG Honorary Membership in 1991, and in 2015 was awarded the L. Austin Weeks Memorial Medal, the Foundation’s highest honor.
In addition to being a regular at TA meetings, Gipson was active in numerous civic and charity organizations, was an avid fly-fisherman, raised timber and bred registered Santa Gertrudis cattle on his ranch near Gilmer, Texas, and was an investor in the acclaimed Pheasant Ridge Winery.