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Forrest R. Hurley

by Susan J. Ainsworth
February 22, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 8

Forrest R. Hurley, 88, a retired W.R. Grace and Lockheed Martin research chemist, died on Nov. 4, 2009.

Born in Jamestown, Ohio, Hurley earned a bachelor of chemical engineering degree from Ohio State University in 1942. He then began working in the control laboratory at General Chemical in East St. Louis, Ill. In 1944, he enlisted in the Navy and served as a communications officer aboard the U.S.S. Barataria, a seaplane tender, in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

After the war, he joined Monsanto Chemical in Dayton, Ohio, before returning to Ohio State to earn a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry in 1954.

Hurley then joined Davison Chemical in Baltimore, focusing his research on hydrazine chemistry and silica-alumina catalysts. After W.R. Grace acquired Davison, Hurley continued research in inorganic phosphates, rare-earth separations, colloidal chemistry of inorganic oxides, and the chemistry of clays, vermiculite, and silicate minerals.

In 1966, Hurley joined the Cement & Lime Division of Martin Marietta. He designed, built, and staffed its laboratory and served as its director of applied research.

When Martin Marietta exited the cement and lime business in 1977, Hurley rejoined W.R. Grace as director of cement and concrete research in the firm’s Cambridge, Mass., labs, where he worked until his retirement in 1986. He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1944.

He is survived by three children, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.


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