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William O. Hofmann

by Susan J. Ainsworth
May 20, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 20

William O. Hofmann, 92, a retired DuPont chemical engineer, died on Dec. 4, 2012, in West Grove, Pa.

Born in New York City, Hofmann received a bachelor’s degree in 1941 and doctorate in 1948, both in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

During World War II, he worked for U.S. Rubber and Texaco, conducting research on synthetic rubber.

Hofmann joined DuPont in 1948, where he focused on marketing nylon used in home furnishings as well as Mylar and Kapton films. After retiring in 1985, he taught mathematics and physics at Delaware Technical Community College.

In retirement, Hofmann also indulged his lifelong hobby of stamp collecting by working at the Stamp Center in Talleyville, Del. He volunteered in the 1850s machine shop at the Hagley Museum & Library in Wilmington, Del., and for the American Association of Retired Persons’ Internal Revenue Service tax preparation program.

He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1943. He was also a member of Sigma Xi and the American Philatelic Society.

In addition to his wife of 60 years, Mary Jane, he is survived by his son, William; daughter, Ellen Johnson; and three grandchildren.

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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