Issue Date: October 3, 2011
Robert A. Darby
James F. Dunphy, 81, a retired DuPont polymer chemist from Parkersburg, W.Va., died on June 18.
A native of Boston, Dunphy received a B.S., cum laude, in natural sciences from Boston College in 1951. He then joined National Starch & Chemicals in New Jersey.
From 1953 until 1955, Dunphy also served in the Army’s Chemical Corps, developing analytical methods for chemical weapons applications. In 1960, he earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, under Carl S. Marvel.
Dunphy joined DuPont in 1959, working in Buffalo; Tecumseh, Kan.; and Parkersburg over his 34-year career with the company. An expert in design and scale-up of industrial polymers, including super-tough nylons for auto parts and moisture-barrier coatings for food packaging, he was promoted to senior technical positions at DuPont. He was credited with several patents.
Dunphy was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1953.
A lifelong devotee of literature, music, and travel, Dunphy traveled all over the world to see opera productions and developed and taught several popular opera courses for Marietta College’s Institute for Learning in Retirement in Marietta, Ohio. He also served as a tutor with Literacy Volunteers in Parkersburg.
He is survived by his wife, Clarice; three children; and three grandchildren.
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