Friday, April 25, 2014

Maria Mange

February 24, 2011 | 4 Comments


Aug. 7, 1935 — Jan. 30, 2011

Maria Mange died of cancer on Jan. 30, 2011, in Davis, where she was an emeritus senior research associate. She was born Maria Anna Rajetsky on Aug. 7, 1935, in Kaposvar, Hungary, as the eldest of three sisters — Maria, Agnes and Szuszi — where she excelled in science, skating and gymnastics. She gained her B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. on “Heavy Mineral Suites of the Hungarian Basin”  from the University of Budapest at the time of the student foment and unrest during the Russian invasion of Hungary in the late 1950s, which developed her independence and indomitable spirit of self-reliance and courage.

As a geologist with the Geological Survey of Hungary in Budapest, she acquired profound skills in the use of detrital heavy minerals, which was to be the foundation of a brilliant research career. She married Istvan Gedeon in 1956 and had a son, Akos, who died in 2002. In 1973, she was divorced, and married Emile Mange, D.F.C., a dual Swiss/British citizen and war hero who captained Lancaster bombers during the Second World War.

She and Emile lived first in South Kensington and then in Berne. In Imperial College, as a Groves Fellow, from 1976 to1980, she became a close friend of Janet Watson, FRS, and was awarded a D.I.C. in 1979, under the supervision of Graham Evans, for her work on the heavy mineral suites of the Turkish Mediterranean. In Berne from 1980 to1988, with Albert Matter, she worked on the Ebro Basin and did ground-breaking work on the heavy minerals of the Alpine molasse and flysch, recognizing the high-pressure components glaucophane and lawsonite. In Berne, she developed the techniques of high-resolution-heavy-mineral-analysis in stratigraphic correlation, provenance studies, and burial diagenesis, which she has taught to dozens of graduate students and colleagues. While in Berne, she wrote, with Heinz Maurer, the heavy mineral text, “Schwermineralen in Farben.”

In 1987, Maria accepted a part-time position in Oxford but Emile died that summer. Maria, nevertheless, came to Oxford in 1988 where she rapidly became a highly valued member of the Department of Earth Sciences through her research on the Triassic and Cretaceous sediments of the North Sea and her constant and selfless instruction of, and research cooperation with and help for staff and research students, notably Lidia Lonergan, Philip Allen and John Dewey. Through this period, she consulted for petroleum companies and built a formidable reputation as the world’s leading heavy mineral expert, while cooperating with David Wright in both academic and consulting work. She did ground-breaking work on the Lower Palaeozoic strata of western Ireland and the Southern Uplands.

In 2000, she accepted a position at UC Davis in recognition of her heavy mineral work, which enabled her to pursue purely academic research and the teaching of undergraduate and research students. She loved California, her friends in Davis — especially Elinor Kollmann, who was her devoted friend to the end — her garden, and her colleagues in the UC Davis geology department, the happiest phase of her life. Maria was a profoundly knowledgeable and skilled mineralogist and petrographer in the mold of the mineralogical genius Stuart Agrell. Like Stuart, one could not show her a mineral that she could not identify. In 2007, she published a monumental work “Heavy Minerals in Use,” which she edited and largely wrote and rewrote. She was the consummate perfectionist in her research and her life.

At every place in which she worked, she insisted on the finest coffee and educated her colleagues in its finer points. At the time of her death, she was, with David Wright, completing a revision of “Schwermineralen in Farben.” She was a kind and generous person who spent her life giving but never taking. She is survived by her sister, Szuszi Rajetsky of Budapest. Her death leaves a sadness in her family, colleagues and friends, and a deep void in the quantitative study of heavy minerals. Heartfelt thanks to “Support for Home” and Kaiser Hospice. At Maria’s request, there will be no memorial service.

Enterprise staff


Discussion | 4 comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • ZsoJuWaNiCeTeFebruary 24, 2011 - 1:23 pm

    She is in our hearts forever. Török family, Hungary

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Skip PalenikMarch 03, 2011 - 9:21 am

    I am in deep shock having just learned of Maria's passing. She was a dear friend and most valued colleague. She will be missed both for her friendship and for her irreplacable expertise in her field. It is unlikely that anyone will achieve her specialized knowledge of heavy minerals.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Richard BatemanMarch 05, 2011 - 4:02 am

    I recently mailed Maria an account of 2010, explaining what a poor year it had been from my viewpoint. Now I learn of Maria's death, and the year just got a whole lot worse. I never had a kinder or more generous friend and colleague. An old cliche, but I'll never forget you, Maria ...

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Margit Bohn-HavasMarch 07, 2011 - 11:03 am

    A real friendship of more than 50 years cannot be terminated so suddenly, you will live in my memory till the end. Your fellow university students will never forget our years with you. We did not anticipate that last year´s get-together will be our last with you. We all miss you terribly and say goodbye with deep sorrow in our hearts. M. Bohn-Havas

    Reply | Report abusive comment


Junior high students embrace diversity training

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Measure P asks: Are the water rates fair?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Neighbors mourn loss of popular wildlife-viewing platform

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Can you give them a home?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Yolo County Bar Association hosts Law Day event

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Beronio gets backing of county’s attorneys

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sierra Club backs Swanson, Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Yes on Measure P at market

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Smithsonian animal exhibit rolling into UCD

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Fix-a-leak workshop set Tuesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Brennan campaign event set in West Sac

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Judge candidate at Winters Youth Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Oakley to hold office hours in Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Yolo CASA plans upcoming training

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Meet judicial candidate at market

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Explorit: Turning Earth Day into Earth Year

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4

Four women recognized for contributions to agriculture, philanthropy

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Joe Krovoza, at a glance

By Cory Golden | From Page: A6

Parting ways

By Cory Golden | From Page: A7

Dan Wolk, at a glance

By Cory Golden | From Page: A7



Davis is an inspiring leader

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Beronio is tried and true

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Pat Oliphant cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

We’re boiling the frog to death

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

Please, let there be light

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10



Boxing has passed me by; the Sweet Science is lacking

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

Final Aggie spring football scrimmage open to public on Saturday

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS’ volleyball win streak reaches five matches

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

DYSA roundup: TigerCats go 4-0 in youth softball action

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery





‘Eight from ACGA’ exhibit opens at Davis Arts Center

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A13 | Gallery

Davis native’s feature documentary to screen in Woodland

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15 | Gallery

Band plays tribute to The Carpenters

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

Davis Youth Flute Choir to perform Spring Concert

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

Jazz singer Sachal Vasandani to play four nights

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A15 | Gallery





Gerald Anthony Martinez

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4



Comics: Friday, April 25, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A12