John Cianciulli brought credit to the Franklin Mineral Museum and cash to its coffers. He was a brilliant student of mineralogy. When Pete Dunn offered to teach John optical mineralogy (which was a semester course in my time), John absorbed the subject over a weekend and soon became proficient through practice. His keen eye discerned new species in interesting associations, and his wide professional acquaintance with scientists in this and other countries assured that his published articles were accurate and reliable.
John was a dedicated volunteer and to him a museum need was a challenge. While he was able, he undertook projects that made numerous improvements. One which confounded me was the recovery, transportation, and installation of Bill Welsh's enormous petrified tree sections. That John did all that he achieved despite the interruptions of public relations and misfortunes is testimony to his dedication to the scientific and commercial advancement of the museum.
John attracted adversity of biblical proportions distributed evenly throughout the many years of our association. We were involved in one such event when we were summoned to the office of an adversary law firm, and our transportation was totaled by a member of that very firm attempting to pass us on the highway. Now that took real planning by John's demon!
The future of the museum as a scientific institution was in John's hands. The interest of the collector and scientific public exists because of the unique mineralogy and the availability of specimens, and John served as the lens to focus the attention of these people and thus generated the resulting impressive sales on the Web.
Any mention of John's recent years must include his wife, Carol. Her encouragement and faith surely sustained his determination to continue when poor health and occasional frustration beset him. Without her I doubt he could have continued as he did. He richly merited the recognition and respect he was accorded by the mineral community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his friends, and his colleagues as we all mourn the loss of a dedicated and courageous man.
This is the complete text of the eulogy delivered by Jack Baum at John Cianciulli s memorial service at the Franklin Mineral Museum, January 30, 2005.