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by Victoria Gilman
May 17, 2004 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 82, Issue 20


Max F. Bechtold,a research chemist retired from DuPont, died on Feb. 17 at the age of 89.

Bechtold was born in Wabash County, Ind., and attended that state's Manchester College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1935. He went on to earn a Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1939. After graduation, he and his wife moved to Wilmington, Del., where he joined DuPont's Experimental Station as a chemist.

Bechtold stayed at DuPont until his retirement in 1980. During this time, he served as a project leader and a research supervisor. He also contributed to the development of several patented technologies in the fields of plastics, ceramics, films, and fibers.

While with DuPont, Bechtold became a recognized expert in silicic acid polymerization, traveling around the U.S. and Germany to deliver lectures on the subject. In 1990, he was recognized as a charter recipient of the firm's Lavoisier Medal for technical merit.

Bechtold was active in his community, serving on the boards of diverse organizations in support of local schools, Boy Scout troops, and music ensembles. He and his wife also sponsored and hosted Ambassador Nicholas M. Mugo and his wife, Beth Mugo, a member of Parliament in Nairobi, Kenya, while they studied in the U.S. In his spare time, Bechtold enjoyed gardening, swimming, playing the clarinet, and renovating an 1841 stone farmhouse, in addition to numerous other hobbies.

Bechtold was preceded in death by his wife, Frances (Polly) Pauline, and his sister, Jayne. He is survived by four children, eight grandchildren, a step-grandson, nine great-grandchildren, and two step-great-grandchildren. Joined ACS in 1940; emeritus member.

William S. Dunn,a chemist retired from the Department of Labor, died on Feb. 22 at the age of 76.

Born in Falls City, Neb., Dunn attended Nebraska Wesleyan University, where he received a bachelor's degree in chemistry. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard and served in the Pacific. He began his career as a chemist with the Nebraska Department of Health, moving to Denver in 1952 to become chief chemist with the Division of Industrial Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. There, he was involved with pioneering work in the field of occupational health chemistry.

In 1954, Dunn joined the Colorado School of Mines Research Institute, where he later was director of analytical laboratories. He became chief chemist for the Colorado Department of Health in 1960, a position he held for nearly 30 years. He then left to become a senior chemist for the oil inspection section of the Department of Labor, where he worked on underground storage tank leaks. Dunn retired after nine years with the department but continued serving as a consultant in the fields of environmental chemistry, petroleum identification, and public health.

In his personal life, Dunn was a well-known philatelist and held offices in several local stamp clubs. He was a founder and director of the Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library, where he spent considerable time as a volunteer, lecturer, and chairman for several committees.

Dunn is survived by his wife, Sue; a son; a daughter; two grandchildren; and a brother. Joined ACS in 1955; emeritus member.

Colin Eaborn, emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of Sussex, in England, died on Feb. 22 at the age of 80.

Born in Churton, Cheshire, Eaborn received a B.Sc. degree from the University College of North Wales, Bangor, in 1944. He was awarded a Ph.D. in 1947 and then became an assistant lecturer at University College Leicester (now the University of Leicester). Eaborn was promoted to lecturer in 1950 and to reader in 1954. While at Leicester, he became known internationally for his seminal book, "Organosilicon Compounds," published in 1960.

In 1961, Eaborn was appointed as one of the first professors of chemistry at the then-new University of Sussex. He later became the first dean of the university's School of Chemistry. In the space of 15 years, he built up his department to in-clude 40 faculty, including seven fellows of the Royal Society, two of whom are Nobel Laureates.

Eaborn is often noted for his innovations in British university teaching. He encouraged members of his department to move beyond the traditional barriers between organic, inorganic, physical, and analytical chemistry. Under his direction, Sussex faculty enjoyed an interdisciplinary environment that gave rise to the discovery of fullerenes, work for which faculty member Sir Harold W. Kroto shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Eaborn contributed the concepts of "crash courses," courses taught intensively over a week by members of faculty working as a team; and the "degree by thesis," in which undergraduates were assessed by an extended thesis rather than by written examinations. He also helped develop the first M.Sc. course in organometallic chemistry in the U.K.

As a researcher, Eaborn was well known for his work in organometallic chemistry. He also served as the editor of the Journal of Organometallic Chemistryfrom its start in 1963 until 1993. In recognition of his work, Eaborn was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1970 and served on the society's council from 1978 to 1980 and 1988 to 1989. The Royal Society of Chemistry honored him with the Organometallic Award in 1974, the Ingold Medal in 1974, and the Main Group Award in 1988. He was also the 1964 recipient of the ACS Frederic Stanley Kipping Award in Silicon Chemistry.

In addition to his work in the U.K., Eaborn was a research assistant at the University of California, Los Angeles, from 1950 to 1951; was a Robert Welch Scholar at Rice University from 1961 to 1962; and later held visiting professorships at New Mexico State University, the University of British Columbia, and New Zealand's University of Canterbury. He is survived by his wife, Joyce. Joined ACS in 1955.

Warren J. Gregory,retired manager of community relations for Atofina Chemicals, died on Feb. 21 at the age of 67.

Gregory received a bachelor's degree from Drexel University, in Philadelphia, in 1960. Following a brief tour of duty in the U.S. Army, he joined Pennwalt Corp. in 1961 as a sales trainee in the industrial chemicals division.

While with Pennwalt, Gregory served in the firm's Detroit sales office, working his way up to manager of marketing services for industrial chemicals. He was named director of purchasing and distribution in 1979. In 1989, Pennwalt merged with two other companies to become Elf Atochem North America, which eventually became Atofina. The same year, Gregory moved into the company's public affairs department as a community relations manager.

Gregory retired from Atofina in 1998 but continued to serve as a consultant to community relations until 2003.

Obituaries are written by Victoria Gilman. Obituary notices may be sent by e-mail to and should include detailed educational and professional history.


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