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Sister Marian José Smith

by Susan J. Ainsworth
May 20, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 20

Sister Marian José Smith, 96, a chemistry professor at the College of Saint Elizabeth, in Morristown, N.J., died on Oct. 2, 2012.

Born in Hoboken, N.J., Smith received a B.A. in chemistry from the College of Saint Elizabeth in 1936. She then earned an M.S. in physical chemistry in 1954 and a Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1960, both from Fordham University. She entered the Sisters of Charity order in 1945.

Early in her career, Smith was a teacher at Immaculate Conception High School, in Montclair, N.J. Later, she moved to the College of Saint Elizabeth to serve as a chemistry instructor and coordinator of the chemistry department from 1948 until 1975. She then became a professor of chemistry and served as chemistry department chair until 2003. She continued research in chemistry at the college until shortly before her death.

An emeritus member of ACS, Smith joined in 1955. She served as a councilor for more than two decades and chaired the North Jersey Section in 1982. She also served on four national ACS committees.

Smith received the Burton C. Belden Distinguished Service Award of the North Jersey Section in 1986; she was named an ACS Fellow in 2009. The North Jersey Section established the Sister Marian José Smith Award for Excellence in Education in 1993.

She is survived by her sister, Henrietta M. Turner; many nieces and nephews; and many grandnieces and grandnephews.

Obituary notices of no more than 300 words may be sent to Susan J. Ainsworth at and should include an educational and professional history.



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