Obituaries | March 16, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 11 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 11 | p. 66 | Obituaries
Issue Date: March 16, 2009


Department: ACS News

Hans F. Bauer, 76, a research chemist, died on Feb. 6 in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Born in Hollywood, Calif., Bauer earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1954 from the University of California, Los Angeles. He then served in the Navy on a seaplane tender in the Pacific before being promoted to lieutenant junior grade. After receiving an honorable discharge in 1956, Bauer returned to UCLA to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1960.

Bauer embarked on a successful research career, working for companiest that included Occidental Petroleum. He also worked for the Department of Energy. He held many patents.

He is survived by his wife, June; children Carl, Bruce, Cindy, and Kristi; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Gehrke Sr.
Gehrke Sr.

Charles W. Gehrke Sr., 91, professor emeritus of biochemistry at the University of Missouri, Columbia (UMC), and founder of Analytical Bio-Chemistry Laboratories (ABC Labs), died on Feb. 10.

Born in New York City, Gehrke attended Ohio State University, in Columbus, earning a B.A. in 1939, then a B.Sc. in education and an M.S. in bacteriology, both in 1941.

From 1941 to 1945, Gehrke was a professor and chairman of the department of chemistry at Missouri Valley College, in Marshall, Mo., teaching chemistry and physics to Navy midshipmen during World War II. Gehrke returned to Ohio State, earning a Ph.D. in 1947, while serving as an agricultural biochemistry instructor.

In 1949, he joined the College of Agriculture at UMC. He remained there until 1987, when he retired as professor of biochemistry, manager of the Experiment Station Chemical Laboratories, and director of the University Interdisciplinary Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry facility. In 1968, Gehrke founded Columbia, Mo.-based ABC Labs, a chromatograpy instrumentation company. He served as scientific coordinator at the Cancer Research Center in Columbia from 1989 until 1997.

In his research, Gehrke developed a comprehensive quantitative gas chromatographic (GC) method for the analysis of amino acids in biological samples. He also designed methods that allowed him to help analyze lunar samples returned by Apollo flights in the 1970s. Later, he developed quantitative high-performance liquid chromatography methods to analyze substances in biological samples, especially the modified nucleosides in transfer RNA used as biomarkers in cancer research.

During his career, Gehrke lectured around the world and was an author or coauthor of more than 260 scientific publications and nine books. UMC named its proteomics center after Gehrke.

He was active in the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (now AOAC International), serving as its president in 1982 and receiving its Harvey W. Wiley Award in 1971. He also received the M.S. Tswett Chromatography Memorial Medal and the Dal Nogare Chromatography Award.

He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1943. He received many awards from ACS, including the ACS Award in Chromatography in 2000.

Survivors include son Jon and daughter Susan Isaacson, nine grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. His wife of 65 years, Virginia, died in 2006.


Raymond M. Keefer, 95, an emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of California, Davis, died on Feb. 6 in Davis after a brief illness.

Born in Twin Falls, Idaho, Keefer received a B.S. in chemistry from UC Berkeley in 1934. He then became the first chemistry student to conduct Ph.D. research at UC Davis, although all graduate degrees were still awarded through UC Berkeley when he received a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1940.

Keefer immediately joined the UC Davis faculty as an associate in chemistry; he was promoted to the role of instructor in 1941.

He left UC Davis in 1942 and joined the Navy and served as a radar officer in the Pacific Theater. He continued in the U.S. Navy Reserve, serving as commanding officer of his unit for 20 years. He retired at the rank of captain.

Keefer rejoined the UC Davis faculty in 1945 as an assistant professor, becoming professor of chemistry and chemist at the Experiment Station in 1956. He served as chemistry department chair for 12 years. Keefer retired in 1983.

In close collaboration with Lawrence Andrews, a professor of chemistry at UC Davis, Keefer conducted research on the interactions of the halogens and metallic ions with aromatic hydrocarbons in solution. In 1964, the two were jointly named Faculty Research Lecturer by the UC Davis Academic Senate, an honor that recognizes exceptional research contributions.

In 1971, Keefer was one of 12 UC Davis faculty members to be named an Outstanding Educator of America. Keefer coauthored two books with chemistry department colleagues.

He was a member of the Sigma Xi science society and an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1939.

Keefer is survived by his wife of 66 years, Hilda; children Katherine and James; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son Raymond Jr.

Thomas A. Ruehr, 65, who retired from California Polytechnic State University, in San Luis Obispo, as a soil science professor, died on Jan. 7 at his home in Los Osos, Calif.

Born in Ravenna, Ohio, Ruehr received a bachelor's degree in agronomy from Ohio State University, in Columbus, in 1966. He then earned a master's degree from Iowa State University, in Ames, in 1970 and a Ph.D. from Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, in 1976, both in agronomy and soil science.

He began working at Cal Poly in 1974. He was founding member of Cal Poly's Sustainable Agriculture Resource Consortium.

Ruehr received many grants and authored many publications. He received the Petoseed Agriculture Faculty Award in 1996, a teaching award of merit from the North American Colleges & Teachers of Agriculture in 1994, and Cal Poly's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1980.

He retired in 2006, continuing on as a part-time professor and working as a consultant. He has several patents pending. He was an ACS member, joining in 1992.

Ruehr is survived by his wife, Evelyn; children Denise Kaub and Brent; and two granddaughters.


Susan J. Ainsworth compiles this section. Announcements of promotions, new hires, and retirements may be sent to

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