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by Linda Raber
August 15, 2005 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 83, Issue 33

Other Obituaries

John A. Cenerazzo, 81, who retired in 1986 as executive vice president of Cabot Co., in Reading, Pa., and whose career included stints as president, chairman, and director at Igene Biotechnology, Columbia, Md., and as vice president and director of Kawecki Berylco Industries, Reading, died on March 23.

A chemical engineer, he attended Pennsylvania State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1957, he received the McGraw-Hill chemical engineering award for his work in the extraction of tantalum chemicals from ore and for the design and construction of a chemical plant to do the extraction.

He is survived by his wife, two sons, three grandchildren, and a great-grandson. An emeritus member, Cenerazzo joined ACS in 1946.


Albert W. Dolan Jr., 84, died on July 11 after a long illness. He began his 50-year high school teaching career in 1947, after serving with the Army Air Corps and earning bachelor's and master's degrees from Western Reserve University, Cleveland.

During his career, 39 years of which were spent teaching chemistry at Willoughby South High School, in Ohio, Dolan received numerous awards and recognitions, including the ACS Northern Ohio Section Award for Exceptional Teaching, the Ohio Academy of Science Award, the Manufacturing Chemists Association Award for Excellence in High School Chemistry Teaching, the Ohio Academic Decathlon Teacher/Coach Award, the Lubrizol Science Teacher of the Year Award, and the Berlin Family Educational Foundation Teacher Excellence Award. In 1998, he received the Governor's Award in Education.

Dolan taught more than 14,000 students. Many have pursued careers in science and education. Over the years, he taught the children and grandchildren of former students.

Dolan enjoyed playing the piano and organ, composing songs, gardening, and astronomy. He and his wife of 61 years, Bobbie, who survives him, met in San Antonio across from the Alamo, where he was serving in the Army and she was working as a Spanish translator. He is also survived by three daughters. Dolan joined ACS in 1957 and was an emeritus member.


Sallie A. Fisher, president and owner of Puricons Inc., in Malvern, Pa., died on April 18 at the age of 81. A native of Wisconsin, she received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in inorganic analytical and physical chemistry. After teaching at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Mass., and the University of Minnesota, Duluth, she was offered the opportunity in 1951 to work at Rohm and Haas. There, she was part of the team that developed the processes for the recovery of uranium from South African gold tailings, the purification of streptomycin, and the preparation of ultrapure water for nuclear plants.

After leaving Rohm and Haas in 1960, Fisher was employed for 12 years as associate director of research at Robinette Research Labs. In 1972, she cofounded Puricons.

She published more than 150 papers and was known internationally as a speaker in the field of ion exchange. A member emerita, she joined ACS in 1949.


Joseph T. Kurek, a pioneer in the field of applied chemistry at the Heritage Group and a longtime professor at Franklin College, in Indiana, and the University of Indianapolis, died on May 1 of a brain tumor. He was 60.

Kurek was born in Philadelphia. He received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Boston College in 1967 and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Purdue University in 1974. There, he worked with Nobel Laureate Herbert C. Brown in the area of organomercury chemistry.

Kurek was on the faculty of Franklin College from 1974 to 1989 and taught courses in organic, analytical, and environmental chemistry. He served as department chair from 1980 to 1982. He was also an adjunct professor of chemistry at the University of Indianapolis, where he had taught organic, analytical, environmental, inorganic, or biochemistry since 1977.

In 1989, he joined the Commercial Laboratory Division of Heritage Environmental Services as chief chemist, after serving for a year as a consultant to the laboratory. Beginning in 1992, Kurek was corporate chief chemist for the Heritage Group companies.

Kurek received patents for arsenic removal from drinking water and stabilization of hazardous wastes. In 1999, he received a Scientific Innovation Award from the Asphalt Paving Environmental Council for his contributions to asphalt fume research. His contributions to the Heritage Group companies have been so valuable that the main research laboratories will be renamed in his honor.

Kurek often said that the best way to learn something was to teach it. While teaching, he always encouraged his students to "think like a molecule." He joined ACS in 1968.


Homer F. Priest, retired former director of the Materials Research Laboratory, U.S. Army Materials Research Agency, Watertown Arsenal, in Massachusetts, died on March 12, 2004, at the age of 88.

Born in Nelson, N.H., Priest received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of New Hampshire in 1938 and his master's degree from Williams College, Williamstown, Mass., in 1940.

He was an instructor in chemistry at Columbia University in 1940-41 while working on his doctorate with Nobel Laureate Harold C. Urey. There, he and his wife, Grace, also a chemist, were enlisted to work on the Manhattan Project. From 1941 to 1944, he was head of the Chemistry Division and a section leader at the K-25 Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Oak Ridge, Tenn. Priest and his wife performed materials research to develop barriers for the separation of uranium isotopes in the gaseous diffusion process.

From 1944 to 1946, he was employed as a chemist by Carbide & Carbon Chemical, in Oak Ridge, where he rose to director of research. From 1948 to 1950, he was a technical adviser to the Radiological Warfare Division of the U.S. Army Chemical Center, Edgewood Arsenal, Md.

Priest earned his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1948 under W. C. Schumb. He then became a consultant in the materials field. From 1951 to 1954, he worked in the solid-state transistor group of MIT's Lincoln Laboratory. He left Lincoln to join the solid-state research group at Baird Associates and remained there until 1957.

Priest served as a supervisory physical chemist at the Materials Research Laboratory at the Army's Watertown Arsenal from 1957 to 1963. In 1963, he was appointed director of that lab. His last position was chief of the Materials Science Division at the U.S. Army Materials & Mechanics Research Center. He retired from this position in 1980.

Priest received an honorary doctorate from the University of New Hampshire in May 1968 for his contributions to the Manhattan Project and the development of techniques for growing single crystals of semiconductor materials.

He was an avid birder and bird photographer and spent most of his winter vacations in Florida observing and photographing in the Everglades. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Grace Priest. An emeritus member, he joined ACS in 1941.

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



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