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Heinz  Weninger
(1936-1982)

Heinz Weninger, Austrian mineralogist and mineral collector, was born in Graz, Austria on July 11, 1936. In 1940 he moved with his family to Leoben, and as early as elementary school began to show an interest in science and, in high school, mineralogy. On one of his early excursions to the Krautbather serpentine occurrence he happened to meet the well-known Graz mineralogist Franz Angel, who later became one of his mentors.

Weninger studied mineralogy at the Montanistische University in Leoben, later transferring to the University of Graz to study mineralogy, petrology and paleontology. In 1965 he completed his studies and took a position at the Montanistische University as Assistant and then Senior Assistant, and in 1979 qualified as Lecturer in mineralogy and petrology, with particular specialties in Alpine cleft mineralogy and geothermometry.

Being a mineral collector himself, he always maintained a friendly and helpful attitude toward other collectors. Since his days as student he had been particularly attracted to rhodochrosite from the Eisenberg mine and to minerals from the Siegerland and the Hüttenberg deposits. He was also especially drawn to the minerals of Africa, where he visited twice (Morocco in 1967 and the Tsumeb mine in Namibia in 1971). He took particular pleasure in his sub-collections of fluorite, copper minerals, and Tsumeb minerals, but his greatest love was for Alpine cleft minerals. Through study and field collecting he developed an extraordinary knowledge in this area, leading to numerous scientific publications. In 1974 he published a special issue of Der Aufschluss on “The Alpine cleft minerals of the Austrian East Alps.” In 1976 he published a book on the mineral localities of Steiermark and Carinthia.

Weninger helped establish several mineral collectors' organizations, as well as the Leoben Friends of Mineralogy, and was a master mineral photographer; his many lectures were always well-illustrated with beautiful photos of mineral specimens. His other interests were far flung, including a gift for music, which he always placed in service to the community. He died on August 20, 1982, at the young age of 45, leaving 3 children (one daughter and two sons). His mineral collection was kept for many years in the house of his daughter, but in 2014 it was sold to another Styrian collector.

References:
AICHMAIER, H., and HUBER, P. (1983) [Obituary] Univ. Doz. Dr. Heinz Weninger / geb. 11. Juli 1936, gest. 20. August 1982. Die Eisenblüte, 4 (7), 4-5.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Heinz  Weninger 54 x 79 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Heinz  Weninger 53 x 78 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Heinz  Weninger 54 x 78 mm
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