Obituaries | February 18, 2008 Issue - Vol. 86 Issue 7 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 86 Issue 7 | p. 58 | Obituaries
Issue Date: February 18, 2008


Department: ACS News

Frederick P. Arnold Jr., 40, an assistant professor at the State University of New York, Binghamton, died on Nov. 15, 2007, at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo.

Arnold received a B.A. in chemistry from Drew University in 1989 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Delaware in 1996. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago until 1997.

He worked as a computational chemist first at the University of Chicago from 1997 until 2000, then at Northwestern University until 2004. In January 2005, Arnold accepted a position as an assistant professor on the faculty at SUNY Binghamton. An ACS member, he joined in 1995.

Arnold is survived by his wife, Heidi.

James C. Barber, 90, a chemical engineer focused on phosphorus production, died on Nov. 3, 2007, in Florence, Ala.

Barber earned a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1938. He began working as a co-op student for the Tennessee Valley Authority in Muscle Shoals, Ala., and went on to carve out a 40-year career with the agency. During that time, he obtained a number of patents and, in 1952, coauthored the book "Production of Elemental Phosphorus by the Electric-Furnace Method."

Upon retirement from TVA, he founded James C. Barber & Associates, a now-defunct consulting firm that specialized in the field of phosphorus technology. As a consultant, he was granted 24 patents relating to energy conservation and environmental cleanup in phosphorus manufacturing.

Barber was a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers as well as a member of ACS, which he joined in 1943. He served as an elder and a deacon in the Presbyterian Church. He was also a longtime member and past president of the Florence Kiwanis Club.

He is survived by three daughters and three grandchildren.

Basudeb DasSarma, 84, West Virginia State University emeritus chemistry professor, died on Nov. 16, 2007.

Born in Barisal, in East Bengal, India, DasSarma earned a B.S. in 1944, an M.S. in 1946, and a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1950 from Calcutta University.

He remained at Calcutta University as a lecturer from 1950 until 1953, when he took a two-year leave of absence as a research associate at the University of Illinois with John C. Bailar Jr. In 1955, DasSarma returned to Calcutta University where he remained until 1957, when he accepted a position as chief chemist for the Geological Survey of India. He remained in that role for roughly nine years.

In 1966, DasSarma moved to the U.S. to become a professor at West Virginia State and stayed until his retirement in 1992. During his tenure there, he taught general, inorganic, and analytical chemistry courses, and he developed a popular course in consumer chemistry. His research focused on coordination chemistry, and he authored or coauthored more than 40 scientific papers. He was also an active spokesman for environmental chemistry issues in the Kanawha Valley area, publishing 50 news and opinion pieces in local newspapers.

In 1971, DasSarma received the Kanawha Valley Section Award from the American Chemical Society. Two years later, he won West Virginia State University's Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year award. He served as president of the West Virginia Academy of Science from 1981 until 1982.

DasSarma was an amateur poet and an active member of the Charleston chapter of the West Virginia Poetry Society. One of his poems was published in the Journal of Chemical Education in 1999. He had recently finished a book of his memoirs, "Journey of an Indian Chemist," which has not yet been published.

An emeritus member, DasSarma joined ACS 43 years ago.

DasSarma is survived by his wife of 55 years, Seba; a daughter; a son; and four grandchildren.

Robert Ehrenfeld, 86, the chairman and president of specialty fluorochemicals producer Halocarbon Products, died on Oct. 9, 2007, in New York City, his birthplace.

Ehrenfeld received a B.A. in chemistry from Cornell University in 1942. He then went on to work on the Manhattan Project with one of his Cornell professors before returning to the university to earn a Ph.D. in 1948.

Applying concepts from his graduate work, Ehrenfeld started Halocarbon with a group of friends in 1950. He began by making nonflammable industrial products in his New Jersey garage.

Today, the company, which is headquartered in River Edge, N.J., manufactures a variety of industrial products and generic pharmaceuticals, including inert lubricants, aliphatic fluorochemical intermediates, and inhalation anesthetics.

Ehrenfeld remained active throughout his life, enjoying squash, sailing, and piloting his own plane. An avid tennis player, he was on the court one week before his death.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Elizabeth; three daughters, Elizabeth, Martha, and Emily Ehrenfeld, who all will run Halocarbon; and two grandchildren. He joined ACS in 1942.

Myron T. Kelley, 95, an Oak Ridge National Laboratory chemist, died on Nov. 30, 2007, in Naples, Fla.

After growing up on a farm at Allerton, Iowa, Kelley earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Nebraska and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Iowa State University in 1937.

Upon finishing his education, Kelley became chief analytical chemist at Monsanto Chemical's St. Louis plant, remaining in the role until 1945. He them moved to Oak Ridge, Tenn., to become the director of the Analytical Chemistry Division of ORNL from 1945 until his retirement in 1973.

An ACS member since 1955, Kelley received the Division of Analytical Chemistry Award in Chemical Instrumentation in 1975.

Kelley was a member of North Naples United Methodist Church. He had been an active amateur radio operator since 1951 and was a member of the Amateur Radio Association of South West Florida and of the Royal Palm Chapter of the Quarter Century Wireless Association.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 70 years, Mary Elizabeth, and several nieces and nephews.


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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