Issue Date: January 8, 2007
Masao Atoji, 80, a former senior scientist in government and industrial labs, died on Nov. 20, 2006. He was one of the few neutron-scattering scientists involved in an extension of the work begun under the Manhattan Project, and he also contributed to Nobel Prize-winning work on the structure of boron.
Atoji was born in Japan and came to the U.S. in 1951 as an exchange visitor through the invitation of the University of Minnesota. He became a U.S. citizen in 1961.
In Japan, he received a B.S. degree in 1948 and a D.Sc. degree in 1956 from the University of Osaka. He was a postdoctoral fellow (1956-58) and then an assistant professor (1958-60) at Iowa State University.
He joined Argonne as an associate chemist in 1960, where besides pursuing neutron and X-ray structure research programs, he was the project leader responsible for the design and the construction of an automatic multipurpose neutron diffraction spectrometer installed at CP-5 (1960-64). He became a group leader in 1966 and a senior chemist in 1969.
After leaving Argonne in 1978, Atoji worked at Litton Systems. He then moved to become a senior staff scientist with Motorola, where he set up and directed a new materials laboratory for quality control and process development of electronic materials and of printed and hybrid circuit boards.
For the past 10 years, Atoji was an associate editor at Chemical Abstracts Service, where he was involved in the translation of scientific documents.
Atoji was fluent in four languages and loved to take family photos. He is survived by his wife, Iris; three children; a brother; and a grandson. An emeritus member, he joined ACS in 1957.
Joginder S. (Joe) Chib, 65, an organic chemist, died on Oct. 31, 2006, after a three-year fight with progressive supranuclear palsy.
Born in India in 1941, he received his bachelor's degree in 1962 and master's degree in 1964, both in chemistry from Sagar University. He moved to the U.S. to pursue a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Stevens Institute of Technology, in New Jersey.
After receiving his Ph.D. in 1968, Chib performed postdoctoral research at the New York Zoological Society. Then he worked in agricultural chemistry for Union Carbide, Rhône-Poulenc, and Battelle Laboratories. During his time working in industry, he earned his M.B.A. from Campbell University in North Carolina in 1989.
His M.B.A. served as an impetus to start his own contract laboratories, Pittsburgh Environmental Research Laboratories, in 1993. At PERL, Chib's group performed environmental fate studies and developed a novel apparatus to simulate and study the photolysis of chemicals in a controlled naturalistic environment. He retired in 2004.
Chib's family, friends, and colleagues remember him as a gentle individual who had a love for teaching and learning. He is survived by his wife, Pushp, and three children. He joined ACS in 1970.
Philip K. Isaacs, 78, an industrial chemist, died suddenly on Sept. 19, 2006.
He received a B.A. degree from Bard College, in New York, in 1948; an M.A. from Columbia University; and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Cincinnati in 1951. His first job was with Dewey & Almy Chemical in Cambridge, Mass. In 1962, he transferred to the Washington Research Center of W.R. Grace.
Isaacs moved with his family to Israel in 1966 and joined Machteshim Chemical in Beersheba. In 1968, he began to work at the Israel Fibre Institute, Jerusalem. He was a visiting scientist at Weizmann Institute and then served as chief technologist in the office of the chief scientist of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry until 1986. He then returned to Israel Fibre and worked there until 1992.
From 1969 to 1975, he also served as a senior lecturer at Hebrew University's School of Applied Science. His patented research included polymer modification, latex applications, flame-retardant properties of textiles, surface chemistry, cross-linking of polymers, plastic coatings for foods, halogenated polymers, and adhesives.
Isaacs is survived by his wife, Sarah; three children; 16 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. An emeritus member, he joined ACS in 1950.
Frank H. Kratzer, 88, a professor emeritus and avian nutritionist at the University of California, Davis, died of pancreatic cancer on Oct. 8, 2006.
Born in Baldwinsville, N.Y., Kratzer grew up on the family farm. He graduated from Cornell University in 1940 with a bachelor's degree in animal science. He completed his Ph.D. in poultry nutrition in 1944 at UC Berkeley. After a year as an associate professor at Colorado State University, he joined UC Davis.
Kratzer taught courses in avian and general animal nutrition, advised undergraduate and graduate students, and conducted research in what is now the department of avian sciences. He served as chair from 1976 to 1981. As an emeritus professor, he continued to teach until 1985 and to conduct research for another decade. His research concentrated mainly on avian nutrition with emphasis on the growth and reproduction of turkeys and chickens. He strove to gain an understanding of the basic physiological and biochemical phenomena involved in animal nutrition and served on a National Research Council subcommittee.
Kratzer and his wife of 60 years, Georgina, were very active in community affairs, including starting soccer teams and volunteering at homeless shelters. He enjoyed gardening, camping, hiking, bowling, and family outings. Until a few months ago, he rode his bicycle to campus, fixed sprinkler heads, and fed neighbors' cats.
Kratzer is survived by his wife, three sons, and eight grandchildren. An emeritus member, he joined ACS in 1941.
Aristotle J. Vazakas, 84, a pharmaceutical executive, died on Aug. 26, 2006.
Born in Haverhill, Mass., he graduated from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in 1943. He received a doctorate in organic chemistry from Purdue University in 1952. During the war, he served three years as a medical supply officer in the U.S. Army's 7th Medical Battalion.
Vazakas was a professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at Temple University, Philadelphia, from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s. He worked two years with the Food & Drug Administration in Washington, D.C., before being hired by Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick, N.J., in 1966. He retired in 1987 as manager of regulatory affairs at Ortho Pharmaceutical after 21 years at Johnson & Johnson, Ortho's parent firm.
Vazakas was devoted to classical music and opera and read widely, especially literature, science fiction, and the animal stories of Thornton W. Burgess. He is survived by a son and a daughter, Susan Vazakas, who joined ACS in 1992.
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