In Memoriam: Dr. Richard Cohoon

Dr. Richard Cohoon
Dr. Richard Cohoon

Dr. Richard Cohoon, the longest-serving faculty member in Arkansas Tech University history, died on Saturday, March 4, 2023. He was 90.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, April 6, 2023, at the Shinn Funeral Service Chapel, 800 West Main Street in Russellville.

Cohoon joined the Arkansas Tech faculty as an instructor in 1960. He was subsequently promoted to assistant professor (1963), associate professor (1966), professor (1976) and distinguished professor (2011). He served as a division chair, department head and dean. Cohoon retired from ATU in 2012 with 52 years of service.

Raised in Oklahoma City, Okla., Cohoon earned his baccalaureate degree from Oklahoma City University in 1954. He added a Master of Science degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1959 and a Doctor of Education degree from Oklahoma State University in 1974. Cohoon began his career in the private sector as a geologist before joining the Arkansas Tech faculty.

Cohoon was appointed to the Arkansas Geological Survey in 1987 by Gov. Bill Clinton and went on to serve as chair. After his retirement from Arkansas Tech, Cohoon wrote and published two road guides: “Geologic Road Guide to Highway 7” and “Geologic Road Guide to Highway 10.”

Arkansas Tech presented Cohoon with the Faculty Award of Excellence in the service category on the day of his retirement, which coincided with spring 2012 commencement. He received the honorary title professor emeritus of geology in 2014 and the university bestowed upon him its highest honor — induction into the ATU Hall of Distinction — in 2015.

A measure of Cohoon’s impact was revealed in fall 2014 when a group of his former students came together to endow the Dr. Richard Cohoon Scholarship, which is presented to geology students at Arkansas Tech.

Access Cohoon’s complete obituary at