Issue Date: April 4, 2011
William B. Martin Jr.
William B. Martin Jr., 87, a professor of chemistry emeritus at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., died of prostate cancer on Jan. 5, in Enfield, N.H.
Born in Winchendon, Mass., Martin served in the Navy Air Corps from 1943 until 1945. He earned a B.A. at Clark University in 1948 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Yale University in 1953.
He joined Union College in 1953, teaching organic chemistry for 36 years until his retirement in 1989.
Martin received the college’s Faculty Meritorious Service Award in 1984. During sabbaticals, he translated three volumes of “Hückel Molecular Orbital Model and Its Application” from German to English.
He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1948. Through ACS’s Eastern New York Section, he codeveloped Project Mercury to train high school dropouts and underemployed people to work as chemical technicians for local businesses.
He retired to Mascoma Lake, in Enfield, where he became active in efforts to reduce the invasion of aquatic Eurasian milfoil. He also worked to educate and inform elected officials and local citizens about their potential impact on the environment. He was active in the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Upper Valley and enjoyed biking, stamp collecting, and canoeing.
Martin is survived by his wife of 60 years, Nancy; son, Timothy; daughters, Pamela Havener and Cynthia Hein; and four grandchildren.
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