Cheves T. Walling Dies At 91 | July 9, 2007 Issue - Vol. 85 Issue 28 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 85 Issue 28 | p. 51 | Obituaries
Issue Date: July 9, 2007

Cheves T. Walling Dies At 91

Former JACS editor served industry, academia, ACS
Department: ACS News
News Channels: JACS In C&EN

Cheves T. Walling, an accomplished organic chemist, expert in free-radical chemistry, and former editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), died on June 18. He was 91.

Walling played a key role in the growth and development of chemistry at the University of Utah, retiring from there as a distinguished professor emeritus of chemistry. "Walling was one of the grand old men of chemistry, with a wry wit and an affable disposition," says Peter B. Armentrout, Utah's current chemistry chair.

Born in Evanston, Ill., Walling studied chemistry at the undergraduate level at Harvard University, receiving his B.A. degree in 1937. He went on to earn his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1939, carrying out his research under the direction of Morris S. Kharasch.

Walling started his career as a research chemist at DuPont's Jackson Laboratories in Deepwater, N.J. From 1943 until 1949, he worked for the U.S. Rubber Co., taking leave in 1945 and 1946 to serve as a technical aide in the Office of Scientific Research & Development, a government agency created to coordinate research for military purposes during World War II. Walling left U.S. Rubber in 1949 to join the research division of Lever Brothers.

In 1952, he began his academic research career as a professor of chemistry at Columbia University; he served as department chairman from 1963 to 1966. Walling left in 1970 to become a distinguished professor of chemistry at the University of Utah, where he served his tenure as the 10th editor of JACS from 1975 until 1981. He retired in 1991.

An emeritus member, Walling joined ACS in 1936. He was also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He served on the advisory board of the ACS Petroleum Research Fund, the board of directors of the Gordon Research Conferences, the executive committee of the organic division of the editorial board of JACS, and as chairman of the Division of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering of the National Research Council. From 1966 until 1973, he was chairman of the ACS Committee on Professional Training.

Walling received many awards, including the James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry from ACS, the Alumni Medal from the University of Chicago Alumni Association, the Utah Award of the ACS Salt Lake Section, and the ACS Award in Petroleum Chemistry. He published more than 190 papers in the fields of physical organic chemistry, reaction mechanisms in organic chemistry, and free-radical reactions. He was the author of a classic monograph on free-radical reactions, "Free Radicals in Solution," published in 1957. His autobiography, "Fifty Years of Free Radicals," was published in 1995.

Ronald Breslow, University Professor of chemistry and biology at Columbia, remembers Walling as "a wonderful mentor, a first-rate physical organic chemist, and a warm and colorful character who was held in great affection by all his Columbia colleagues."

Walling is survived by his wife, Jane; one son; and four daughters.

Donald F. Halpern, 70, a pharmaceutical chemist and developer of anesthetics, died on April 19 following complications from surgery. Halpern earned his doctorate in organic chemistry from the City University of New York in 1971 while working as an instructor in chemistry at Queens College in Flushing, N.Y.

In 1974, he went to work for Tuck Tape as a technical service manager. A year later, he joined the Ohio Medical Products division of Airco, which later became a part of the BOC Group acquired by the Linde Group in 2006. At Airco, he developed a variety of central nervous system drugs that were evaluated as volatile or injectable anesthetics, muscle relaxants, sedative hypnotics, induction agents, and antiepilepsy agents. He synthesized the pure enantiomers of anesthesia drugs isoflurane and desflurane. He was granted at least nine U.S. patents.

After leaving the company in 1993, he began building a consulting practice based on his pharmaceutical experience and his knowledge of organofluorine chemistry. In this role, Halpern provided expertise to chemical firms and agencies around the world and acted as an expert witness.

Halpern was the secretary of the Scandinavian Collectors Club, a philatelic society devoted to collecting the stamps and postal history of Scandinavia. He was also the business manager of its journal, the Posthorn, at the time of his death.

He is survived by a son and a sister. An emeritus member, Halpern joined ACS in 1958.

Dorothy Schroeder Lehmkuhl, 86, a chemist, teacher, and former ACS councilor, died on June 1 in Annapolis, Md.

Born in Kearny, N.J., Lehmkuhl graduated from what is now known as Montclair State College, in New Jersey, with an A.B. degree in 1942. During World War II, she worked at Aberdeen Proving Ground, an Army ammunitions testing facility in Maryland, as an analytical chemist. After the war, she returned to Montclair State, earning a master's degree in 1946.

From 1956 until 1984, she taught chemistry at Lyndhurst High School and at Montclair State College. After retirement, she became active in many organizations, including the New Jersey Science Teachers Association, New Jersey Educational Association, and ACS. She was a member of the North Jersey Section of ACS, serving as its chair in 1989. She also served on many local and national committees and was an ACS councilor for several terms.

Lehmkuhl was an animal lover and wild bird enthusiast. She also traveled extensively around the world.

She is survived by her children, Christine, David, and Bob. An emeritus member, Lehmkuhl joined ACS in 1947.

Ralph C. Schreyer, 87, a retired DuPont research chemist, died on June 1 of complications from pneumonia.

A native of Washington, D.C., Schreyer earned a bachelor's degree from the Catholic University of America in 1941. During World War II, while a graduate student at Purdue University, he worked on the Manhattan Project.

After earning a doctorate in organic chemistry from Purdue in 1946, he began his 38-year career with DuPont in Wilmington, Del. Beginning in the 1960s, Schreyer worked at DuPont's Experimental Station in Gibbstown, N.J. For the 12 years leading up to his retirement in 1984, he was a patent agent in DuPont's petrochemicals department in Wilmington. During this career, he was granted 50 patents for polymer technology.

Schreyer was a member of Hanover Presbyterian Church, in Wilmington. He was also a silver master with the American Contract Bridge League and, along with his wife, Marie, participated in more than 60 Elderhostel programs around the world.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, James and Robert. An emeritus member, Schreyer joined ACS in 1941.

Robert H. Terss, 81, a retired DuPont chemist, died on April 13.

Terss was an Army veteran of World War II, serving in the European theatre and earning a Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars.

After the war, Terss earned a bachelor's degree from Washington University, St. Louis, in 1949, and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1953 from the University of Kansas, Lawrence.

In June 1953, he started his long career with DuPont, working in the Jackson Laboratory in Deepwater, N.J., as a research chemist. Later, he was a division head at the company's Experimental Station in Wilmington, Del., and then a chief supervisor, a superintendent, and a division head at DuPont's Chambers Works in Deepwater. He transferred back to Wilmington in June 1978 and retired in 1986. He then did consulting work and taught graduate courses at Wilmington College.

Terss was a member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. He belonged to Disabled American Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign War. He enjoyed gardening and photography.

He is survived by his wife of almost 52 years, Eugenia, and three sisters. He was preceded in death by his brother. An emeritus member, Terss joined ACS in 1951.


David Turnbull, 92, retired professor of applied physics at Harvard University, died in his Cambridge, Mass., home on April 28. He had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Reared on a family farm in northwest Illinois, Turnbull graduated from Monmouth College, in Illinois, with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. He then went on to earn a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1939.

During World War II, Turnbull was on the faculty of what was then the Case School of Applied Science in Cleveland. In 1946, he accepted a research position with General Electric, which allowed him to pursue his keen interest in solid-state science. During his stint at GE in Schenectady, N.Y., he also served as an adjunct professor of metallurgy at nearby Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, under a cooperative program.

In 1962, he accepted an offer to become a professor of applied physics at Harvard, drawn by what he saw as the absence of organizational barriers between solid-state physics, metallurgy, and applied mechanics.

Throughout his career, Turnbull published more than 300 papers on topics including the crystallization of liquids, the diffusion of atoms in crystals, and glass formation.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he won many awards including a Franklin Medal from the Franklin Institute of Science and the Japan Prize for his achievements in science. In 1992, the Materials Research Society established an annual lecture in his name. Turnbull became an ACS member in 1936.

He is survived by two sons, a daughter, and four grandsons.

Eugene C. Weinbach, 87, a retired parasite biochemist, died of renal failure in Silver Spring, Md., on April 21.

Weinbach earned an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Maryland in 1942. He served in the Army from 1944 to 1946, returning to the university and earning a doctorate in biochemistry in 1947. He then did postdoctoral work at Johns Hopkins University until 1950.

That year, Weinbach joined the National Institutes of Health as a research biochemist. In 1969, he became head of the Section on Physiology & Biochemistry in the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases of the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases. An adviser to the World Health Organization and a speaker at numerous meetings, seminars, and conferences, he retired in 1993.

Weinbach was a member of the American Society of Biological Chemists; the American Society of Parasitologists; the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene; and the Rho Chi Society, an honorary pharmaceutical group.

Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Inga; a daughter; a stepdaughter; 11 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a son, Paul. Weinbach joined ACS in 1944 and was an emeritus member.


Zeno W. Wicks Jr., 86, a coatings chemist, died at his home in Louisville, Ky., on June 5.

Wicks received an A.B. degree in chemistry from Oberlin College in 1941 and a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Illinois.

He then spent 28 years at Interchemical in various technical and management positions. In 1972, Wicks moved into academia, serving as a professor and chairman of the department of polymers and coatings at North Dakota State University until 1983. After retiring from the university, Wicks took on consulting work and taught short courses on coatings for companies around the world.

He published more than a third of his 60 publications, including three editions of "Organic Coatings: Science & Technology," a reference book, after age 70. Wicks received many honors, including the 1988 Roy W. Tess Award in Coatings of the ACS Division of Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering, and four Roon Awards from the Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology.

He was an eyewitness to the 1937 Hindenburg disaster. Age 16 at the time, he accompanied his father, a Goodyear engineer and consultant to the Hindenburg manufacturer Luftschiffbau Zeppelin, to meet a colleague arriving on the dirigible.

Wicks is survived by five children and 12 grandchildren. An emeritus member, he joined ACS in 1942.


Obituaries are written by Susan J. Ainsworth. Obituary notices may be sent to and should include detailed educational and professional history.

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