The sparkle and color of beautiful crystals found in various minerals captured Don Peck's heart more than 60 years ago and it's a hobby he passionately pursues to this day.
"It's fun and it keeps me active," said Peck, 84, who now resides at Greenfields of Geneva with his wife Lorraine.
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Peck, a retired Connecticut high school science teacher, discovered his life-long hobby of mineralogy when he was a teenager after going on a mineral hunt at inoperative garnet and iron mines. "I've still got some of the garnets I found that day," said Peck, who added the garnets mined were typically used for industrial purposes.
After taking his first teaching job Peck joined a mineral club where his interest in micro-minerals took off. Micro-minerals require the use of a microscope to view the crystal formations. He not only began collecting micro-minerals, but his influence on the world of mineralogy began to take shape. Passionate about identifying and classifying micro-minerals and their crystal structures, Peck created a database and search engine for mineral properties. Originally written in the 1980s, MinSearch has been updated three times since and is available for mineralogists to not only catalogue their research, but also help identify possible unknown specimens. Additionally he wrote "Mineral Identification: A Practical Guide for the Amateur Mineralogist," a book to help amateur mineralogists.
When he's not examining specimens from his own mineral collection or from the collections of colleagues, Peck can often be found sharing his passion with others. In August he gave a talk on mineral and mineral collecting to other residents of GreenFields of Geneva. "Dan is another great example of the many interesting residents at GreenFields who have fascinating experiences and backgrounds to share," said Judi Donovan, executive director.
Peck and his wife discovered GreenFields when looking to relocate to Illinois to be close to their daughter, who lives in Crystal Lake with her family. Through their son-in-law they found GreenFields and after visiting the community, the Pecks knew they found their new home.
"There's a wonderful staff here. It's airy, it's clean, it's attractive and it's a really nice place," Peck said.
Peck still has a large collection of micro-minerals, each of which is stored in a one inch-by-one inch case. "I have enough raw materials to keep me going for years," he said with a smile.
GreenFields is an exceptional LifeCare community offering an ideal location, a wonderful retirement lifestyle. GreenFields offers independent living, assisted living, memory support, rehabilitation and skilled nursing, with the most comprehensive plan available for long-term care if ever needed. For additional information, visit www.GreenFieldsOfGeneva.org.