Issue Date: September 24, 2012
Phillip T. DeLassus
Phillip T. DeLassus, 67, died on Aug. 2 in McAllen, Texas, after a long bout with myasthenia gravis.
DeLassus earned a B.S. in chemistry from Valparaiso University in 1967 and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1972. After a stint with Procter & Gamble, he joined the research staff of Dow Chemical in 1976.
At Dow, DeLassus worked with polymers such as polyethylene, polystyrene, and polyvinylidene chloride. He was a leading authority on the barrier properties of polymers with respect to gases, vapors, aromas, and flavors. He authored or coauthored 84 Dow technology reports, 48 journal articles, and 18 patents. In 1994, the Midland Section of ACS honored him for Outstanding Achievement & Promotion of the Chemical Sciences.
While working for Dow, DeLassus was an adjunct professor at Central Michigan University. He has also taught at Saginaw Valley State University and Michigan State University. Bob Howell, a professor of chemistry at Central Michigan, says DeLassus was an “outstanding scientist” and “perhaps the most prominent industrial scientist” working in polymer barrier properties. Howell also recalls DeLassus as a “compassionate, enthusiastic teacher.”
DeLassus left Dow in 1999 to dedicate himself to academia full-time as a professor of chemistry at Valparaiso University. In 2002, he moved to the University of Texas, Pan American, where he taught for more than a decade. He was an ACS member from 1976 to 2004.
DeLassus is survived by his wife, MaryAnn Paladini-DeLassus; daughter, Sarah Carson; son, Stephen; stepsons, Scott Geren and Mike Paladini; stepdaughters, Anna Arme, Ellen Stone, and Jane Rinker; and 12 grandchildren.
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