Obituaries | April 13, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 15 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 15 | pp. 57-59 | Obituaries
Issue Date: April 13, 2009


Department: ACS News

Dalia R. Bulgaris, 70, a longtime chemistry teacher at Stuyvesant High School, in New York City, died from complications of lung cancer on May 3, 2008.

Born in Kaunas, Lithuania, Bulgaris came to the U.S. in 1949. She received a B.S. in chemistry from Marygrove College, in Detroit, in 1958. That same year, she moved to New York City, where she received an M.S. in chemistry from Fordham University and then began Ph.D. studies there under Emil Moriconi.

She taught chemistry at several schools before joining Stuyvesant in 1979, where she worked until the fall of 2007, when she experienced a return of the lung cancer she had battled several years earlier.

Bulgaris is survived by her sister, Ruta Faja.

Robert L. Burns Sr., 71, a retired industrial chemist, died on Dec. 27, 2008, of pancreatic cancer.

Born in New Jersey, he served in the Army Chemical Corps from 1961 to 1963. He then earned a B.A. in chemistry in 1966 from Rutgers University, Newark, while working for Cargill, in Cedar Grove, N.J., from 1965 to 1966.

Burns then moved to Muskegon, Mich., where he spent time in both R&D and production at Ott from 1966 to 1975. He spent the next four years working for Armak at its Morris, Ill., plant and then at its R&D facility in McCook, Ill.

In 1979, Burns joined Lonza, working at its Williamsport, Pa., facility. In 1989, he moved to the State College, Pa.-based Rütgers Organics Group (now part of Rütgers); he retired from the company in 2003.

Burns had expertise in process development and fat and oil chemistry; he contributed a chapter to a recently published book, “Handbook of Detergents, Part F: Production.”

An emeritus member, he joined ACS in 1967.

Burns is survived by his wife of 45 years, Evelyn; three children; and two grandchildren.


Johannes F. (Johan) Coetzee, 84, emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, died on Dec. 3, 2008.

Born and raised in South Africa, Coetzee received a B.Sc. degree in physics and chemistry from the University of the Orange Free State (now the University of the Free State), in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He began his career there, serving as a demonstrator in the university’s chemistry department.

Coetzee then secured a teaching assistantship studying polarography with Izaak M. Kolthoff at the University of Minnesota, while earning a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry in 1956.

He then returned briefly to South Africa to teach at the University of the Witwatersrand. In 1957, he joined the University of Pittsburgh as an assistant professor; he became a full professor in 1966 and an emeritus professor in 1989.

Coetzee’s research focused on electroanalytical chemistry and on the study of the interactions occurring in solutions, particularly solutions of electrolytes in dipolar aprotic solvents. Early in his career at the University of Pittsburgh, Coetzee did research on the effect of solvents on metal-ligand exchange reactions. In the early 1980s, he became interested in the study of potentiometric sensors as a tool for determining solvent purity. Coetzee published nearly 100 papers and edited several books.

Coetzee joined ACS in 1958 and was active in its Pittsburgh Section. He was also involved in the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry & Applied Spectroscopy. He was a member of the Steering Committee of the International Conferences on Solution Chemistry and was involved in the Commission on Electroanalytical Chemistry and the Analytical Chemistry Division Steering Committee of the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry.

He received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota, the Pittsburgh Award from ACS, and the Pittsburgh Analytical Chemistry Award from the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh.

He is survived by a son, Frans, and one grandchild. His wife, Mona, predeceased him.


James Gallagher, 82, an industrial polymer chemist, died on Dec. 24, 2008, in Grosse Ile, Mich.

Born in Chicago, Gallagher received a B.S. from St. Louis University. He then earned an M.A. in 1951 and a Ph.D. in 1955, both from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

During his long career, Gallagher held R&D positions in polymer chemistry at Lubrizol and Esso (now Exxon) before serving 27 years in research management at BASF, in Wyandotte, Mich.

Gallagher held 17 patents in organic materials, urethanes, initiators, and curing chemistry. He was involved in the Great Lakes Polymer Conferences, the Society of the Plastics Industry, and the Gordon Research Conferences.

He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1952.

Gallagher is survived by his wife, Catherine; four children; and eight grandchildren.

Joel E. Goldmacher, 71, an industrial research chemist, died on Jan. 22 in Lakeland, Fla.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Goldmacher earned a B.S. degree in chemistry in 1959 from the City College of New York and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Purdue University in 1963.

Goldmacher began his career at RCA’s Princeton, N.J.-based David Sarnoff Research Center, working on organic semiconductors and insulators.

In 1966, he and a coworker developed the first room-temperature nematic liquid-crystal material, opening the way for production of practical liquid-crystal display (LCD) devices. For this achievement, he was a corecipient of RCA’s David Sarnoff Team Award in Science in 1969.

In 1970, Goldmacher left RCA to become a founding member of Optel, in Princeton, N.J., one of the first companies to manufacture digital watches with LCDs. In 1978, Goldmacher cofounded Springwood Associates to develop various electronic products.

During his career, Goldmacher lectured extensively around the world and was an author or coauthor of numerous scientific publications; he also held 17 patents.

He is survived by his wife, Judith; four children, Neil, Hope, Jonathan, and Tracy; and six grandchildren.


Walter Kauzmann, 92, chemistry pioneer and professor emeritus of chemistry at Princeton University, died in Montgomery Township, N.J., on Jan. 27 from pneumonia.

Kauzmann’s work in the 1950s on the hydrophobic effect paved the way for understanding how proteins fold. While looking at what happens when hydrocarbons and other molecules are absorbed in water and other solvents, Kauzmann was able to predict that a part of proteins shun water, causing them to fold into complex shapes. The first protein structures had yet to be determined through X-ray crystallography.

Born in Mount Vernon, N.Y., Kauzmann earned an undergraduate degree in 1937 from Cornell University, which he attended on full scholarship. He earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Princeton in 1940.

Kauzmann then worked as a research fellow at Westinghouse in Pittsburgh. While there, he published a paper on the perplexing behavior of some types of liquids as they change between liquid and solid states, which became known as the Kauzmann paradox.

He then conducted explosives research at the National Defense Research Council laboratory near Pittsburgh. In 1944, he moved to Los Alamos, N.M., to work on producing detonators for experimental atomic bombs as part of the Manhattan Project.

Kauzmann joined Princeton’s chemistry department in 1946 and served as its chair from 1964 to 1968. He also chaired the university’s biochemical sciences department from 1980 to 1981. He retired in 1983.

Kauzmann wrote many books, including “Quantum Chemistry.” He cowrote “The Structure and Properties of Water.” He was a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. He won the Linderstrøm-Lang Prize and the Stein & Moore Award from the Protein Society.

An emeritus member of ACS, he joined in 1940.

He is survived by his children, Peter, Eric, and Lise Pacala; and eight grandchildren. Kauzmann’s wife of 53 years, Elizabeth, died in 2004.


William F. Little, 79, professor of chemistry emeritus at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, died on Feb. 27.

Little earned a B.S. in chemistry, biology, and mathematics from Lenoir-Rhyne College (now Lenoir-Rhyne University) in his hometown of Hickory, N.C., in 1950. He then enrolled at UNC Chapel Hill, earning a master’s degree in physical chemistry in 1952 and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1954. He then accepted a postdoctoral assignment with renowned organic chemist Sir Christopher K. Ingold at University College London.

Little began his teaching career at Reed College, in Portland, Ore., in 1955, but returned to UNC Chapel Hill the following year as an instructor in the department of chemistry. He was chairman of the chemistry department from 1965 to 1970 and was appointed University Distinguished Professor of chemistry in 1977, a position he held until his retirement in 1996. His research focused on organometallic chemistry.

Little served UNC Chapel Hill in many administrative roles. From 1992 until his retirement in 1996, Little worked as senior vice president for academic affairs for the UNC system of 16 campuses. UNC honored Little with its Thomas Jefferson Award and dedicated a section of UNC Chapel Hill’s new chemistry complex to him.

Beginning in 1957, Little was a leader in the development of Research Triangle Park and the Research Triangle Institute (now RTI International). RTI dedicated the William F. Little Medicinal Chemistry Building in 2003.

He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1953. He was chair of the North Carolina Section in 1963 and served as councilor and on the Committee on Patents & Related Matters.

Little is survived by his wife, Dell; daughter, Terry Marcellin-Little; and two grandchildren.


Herbert Meislich, 88, a City College of New York chemistry professor emeritus and textbook author, died on March 4.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Meislich earned an A.B. in chemistry from Brooklyn College in 1940 before serving in the Navy during World War II. He then received an A.M. in 1947 and a Ph.D. in 1950, both in chemistry, from Columbia University.

Beginning in 1946, Meislich served as assistant professor of chemistry at City College of New York before becoming associate professor in 1963, full professor in 1969, and professor emeritus in 1986.

He coauthored textbooks including “Introduction to Organic Chemistry” and “Fundamentals of Chemistry A Modern Introduction.” More recently, he coauthored study guides in organic chemistry for Schaum’s Outlines. He was awarded the City College of New York’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 1984.

Meislich was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1948. He also served as a past chair of the New York Section and as a councilor.

Meislich is survived by his wife, Estelle, whom he married in 1951; daughters, Mindy Horrow, Debrah Zuckerman, and Susan Radlauer; and five grandchildren.

William T. (Bill) Mooney Jr., 82, a retired professor of chemistry and consultant, died on Feb. 19.

Born in Roseville, Calif., Mooney received an A.B. degree in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1946, and master’s degrees in education in 1947 and in chemistry in 1950, both from Stanford University. He also served on active duty in the Navy Reserve during and after World War II.

Mooney served as a professor of chemistry and dean of sciences at El Camino College, in Torrance, Calif., from 1950 to 1988.

He was the first two-year college chemistry faculty member awarded the Catalyst Award for excellence in college chemistry teaching by the American Chemistry Council, and he was listed in Outstanding Educators in America in 1971 and 1974. Beginning in 1987, Mooney directed the Center for Consulting & Professional Practices.

Mooney served on the Board of Regents of California Lutheran University, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. In 2007, he was inducted into the El Camino College Athletic Hall of Fame; he had served as dean of health and physical education there from 1954 to 1956.

He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1958. He founded the Two-Year College Chemistry Conference of the ACS Division of Chemical Education and chaired ACS’s Southern California Section in 1985.

Mooney is survived by his wife of 58 years, Margery; and sons, William, Robert, and Donald.


John B. Otto, 89, a retired Mobil chemist, died on Sept. 26, 2008, in Dallas.

Born in Kingsville, Texas, Otto received a B.S. in chemical engineering from Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M University, Kingsville). He earned a master’s degree in chemistry in 1943 from the University of Texas, Austin, before going to work on the Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge, in Tennessee, until 1945. He then returned to UT Austin to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1950.

After finishing his education, Otto worked at Mound Laboratory, in Miamisburg, Ohio, for the Atomic Energy Commission until 1954, when he joined Mobil R&D, in Dallas. He worked as a Mobil senior research chemist until his retirement in 1988. Otto held numerous patents and published many scientific papers.

He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1943.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Eleanor; two daughters, Janie Garrett and Margaret Bryan; and five grandchildren.


Stephen T. Quigley, 88, a chemist and retired rear admiral in the Navy Reserve, died on March 8 at his home in Washington, D.C., after a long illness.

During his career, he served as founding director of the ACS Department of Chemistry & Public Affairs and special assistant to five successive chiefs of naval operations at the Pentagon.

Born in Wabasha, Minn., he received a B.S. degree in chemistry from the College of St. Thomas (now the University of St. Thomas), in St. Paul, Minn., in 1942. He then earned a professional certificate in meteorology from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1944, an M.S. in chemistry from the University of Detroit in 1950, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Maryland in 1959.

As part of his 50-year Navy career, Quigley served 10 years of active duty during World War II and the Korean Conflict. He earned the rank of rear admiral in 1973.

He worked in corporate research, first as a senior research chemist at Parke-Davis from 1950 to 1951, then as a senior research chemist and group supervisor at Goodyear Tire & Rubber from 1957 to 1959, and as a senior research chemist at 3M from 1959 to 1963. He then entered state government when he was appointed Minnesota’s Commissioner of Administration.

In 1966, Quigley became the first director of the ACS Department of Chemistry & Public Affairs. He also helped launch Project SEED. During that time, he served as commander of the Navy Reserve Forces in neighboring states. He then assumed the role of special assistant to the chief of naval operations in the Pentagon for 18 years before retiring in 1990.

He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1950. He served on the society’s council for more than two decades and in numerous national and local positions. He served as president of the Chemical Society of Washington, the ACS Washington, D.C., local section, which presented him with two awards—the Charles L. Gordon Award in 1992 and the Community Service Award in 1997. In 2005, he received the Division of Professional Relations’ Henry A. Hill Award.

Quigley was also awarded the Secretary of the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Medal in 1989. He was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the Cosmos Club, and a member of a number of associations including Alpha Chi Sigma, which honored him with a professional service award in 1995.

He is survived by his wife of 22 years, Carol L. Rogers; his children, Stephen Jr., Catherine Wicks, Mary Stevens, Eileen, Kevin, and John; 13 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Desmond M. S. (Des) Wheeler, 79, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, died on March 8 in Dublin, Ireland.

Wheeler grew up in Dublin, where he received a Ph.D. degree from the National University of Ireland in 1955. He then spent two years at Harvard University’s chemistry department doing postdoctoral work with Nobel Laureate R. B. Woodward.

In 1958, he began working at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where he would spend his entire career except for a short stint at the University of South Carolina from 1959 to 1961.

A synthetic organic chemist, Wheeler focused on the isolation and synthesis of biologically active natural products, especially those with carcinogenic potential. In later years, he and his wife, Maureen, who was a lecturer in the chemistry department, pursued improved routes to powerful anticancer drugs. Wheeler received the UN Lincoln Distinguished Teaching Award in 1980.

Wheeler had been president of the faculty’s Academic Senate, helping to create rules relating to tenure and promotion. For this work, he received the James A. Lake Academic Freedom Award in 1982. In 1993, UN Lincoln honored him with the George Howard-Louise Pound Distinguished Career Award.

He retired in 1993 and returned to Dublin. He then studied law at NUI Dublin, completing the equivalent of the J.D. degree in 1999.

Wheeler is survived by his wife.

John R. Zimmerman, 87, a physicist and nuclear magnetic resonance pioneer, died on Sept. 8, 2008, in Commerce, Texas.

Zimmerman earned a Ph.D. in applied physics from Ohio State University.

He worked for the Naval Research Laboratory, in Washington, D.C., before joining the faculty at the University of Colorado.

He then went to work for the Field Research Laboratory of Magnolia Petroleum, which later became part of Mobil. One of his papers, “Standardization of N.M.R. High Resolution Spectra,” which he published with M. R. Foster in the Journal of Physical Chemistry (1957, 61, 282), was named a Science Citation Classic by the Institute for Scientific Information. He then became manager of the Petroleum Geochemistry Group at Mobil.

Zimmerman later returned to academia, serving first as chair of the physics department at Southern Illinois University and then as dean of science at East Texas State University (now Texas A&M, Commerce).

He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1957.

Zimmerman was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Lenore. He is survived by three children and four grandchildren.


Susan J. Ainsworth writes Obituaries. Obituary notices may be sent to and should include a detailed educational and professional history.

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