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Warner L. Peticolas

by Susan J. Ainsworth
September 21, 2009 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 87, ISSUE 38

Peticolas
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Warner L. Peticolas, 79, an emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of Oregon, died on June 26.

Born in Lubbock, Texas, Peticolas earned a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Texas Tech University in 1946 and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Northwestern University in 1954.

He worked for DuPont, IBM, and California Institute of Technology before joining the faculty at the University of Oregon as a full professor. He would remain there for nearly 30 years, retiring in 1994.

Peticolas attained world status as a leading expert in the field of Raman spectroscopy, applying the technique to new areas of biological research.

He worked in France at Institute Max Von Laue-Paul Langevin from 1973 to 1974 and at Pierre & Marie Curie University from 1980 to 1981. He also worked at Germany’s Max Planck Institute from 1984 to 1985, after winning a Von Humboldt Scholarship Award.

Peticolas spoke French fluently, had a passion for opera, was an avid piano player, and enjoyed traveling, skiing, windsurfing, hiking, and camping.

He is survived by his first wife, Priscilla Schleich, and his second wife, Virginia. Peticolas is also survived by five children—Cynthia Peticolas-Sherbondy, Nina Tanti, Phillip, Laura Peticolas, and Alicia Kelley—and 10 grandchildren.

Susan J. Ainsworth writes obituaries. Obituary notices may be sent to s_ainsworth@acs.org and should include a detailed educational and professional history.

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