Nature 44

Bryan Huff

January 4, 1957 ~ December 8, 2023 (age 66) 66 Years Old

Bryan Huff Obituary

Bryan Gregory Huff was born in Chicago January 4th, 1957, a second son to William Howard and Mary Josefovich Huff. He became part of the fossil record on December 8, 2023. 

Bryan’s earliest life was in Des Plaines, Illinois until his family moved to Urbana, Illinois where his father took a position at the University of Illinois. Bryan had an idyllic childhood in Urbana running about with a small tribe of children from neighbor families and adventuring with his brothers.

Bryan attended Leal and Yankee Ridge grade schools, Urbana High School and University of Illinois Experimental High School, graduated from Parkland College in 1977 with a degree in Liberal arts, from the University of Illinois in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and in 1984 earning a Master of Science in Geology.

During his undergraduate years Bryan worked for the Urbana Police Department in Parking Enforcement in downtown Urbana and campus for several years, and an Oil and Gas Geologist in Urbana evaluating petroleum prospects in Illinois. In graduate school he was a teaching assistant in paleontology and stratigraphy and finally an instructor at the University of Illinois geologic field camp course in Sheridan, Wyoming.

Looking to work in his chosen profession after graduate school, he borrowed $100 from his parents and took a Greyhound bus to Houston, TX. For the next 2 years he provided well site geology for deep oil and gas wells in Texas and Louisiana.

He was between oil wells when the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) interviewed him for and offered him a Geologist position. He worked for the ISGS for 35 years primarily in the Oil and Gas Section providing the oil industry with information on and interpretation of the subsurface geology of Illinois. Bryan also studied and published on Illinois oil reservoirs, enhanced oil recovery methods and gas storage fields. He produced over 100 publications including Illinois Petroleum Series Publications and Field Trip Guidebooks. Bryan led the effort to digitize geological records for oil and gas wells in Illinois. His leadership helped build the digital repository and provide access to a large database for nearly 200,000 Illinois oil and gas records used daily by the industry today. Bryan’s publication such as Illinois Petroleum 154, Oil and Gas Developments in Illinois, 1988 and subsequent years of database updates on the systematic cataloging and statistics of Illinois oil fields production was the foundation for the development and continued offerings of the ISGS online mapping products for oil and gas data (ILOIL interactive map application).

Bryan gained a love for the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming during geologic mapping classes he taught there in the 1980’s for the University of Illinois. For many years he made an annual pilgrimage to fly fish the Bighorn’s streams and rivers for trout.

Bryan married the greatest love of his life, Yan Liu, under the archway generously provided by a gnarled old red bud tree in his back yard in Urbana. They led a happy and loving life living in Urbana, later building a house in Philo, and next moving to Maryland where his wife pursued her career and Bryan chased after blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay in retirement.

Bryan and his wife loved their travels to many world class destinations in Asia, Europe, Central and South America as well as North America. Bryan was curious and experimental; an adventurous connoisseur of all cuisines, cultures, languages, and a lover of history, humanities and knowledge of the earth. He enjoyed fly-fishing and tying flies, crabbing and could often be found with a beer in his hand.

He is survived by his wife, three brothers (Craig, Glenn and Dale), one sister (Cathy Demeroukas) and numerous nieces and nephews.

Bryan was loved by many. Between family and friends an entire newspaper could be filled with the numerous adventures and anecdotes of our experiences with him. We encourage you to read and share these stories at legacy website XXX .

Remembrances may be made to: “Philo Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 138, Philo, IL 61864”, and also to: “Casting for Recovery”, an organization that provides fly fishing instruction and retreats to woman with and survivors of breast cancer.

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