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Jon T. (Tom) Dols

by Susan J. Ainsworth
July 29, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 30

Jon T. (Tom) Dols, 75, a retired Food & Drug Administration chemist from Taneytown, Md., died on Feb. 13 of a heart attack.

Born in Minneapolis, Dols earned a B.A. degree in history at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, in 1960.

He carved out a 37-year career in the federal government, working first with the Army Chemical Corps. He later moved to FDA, where he focused on adverse reactions to drugs in animals. He retired in 1998. Dols joined ACS in 1968.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia, whom he married in 1985; son, Kevin; daughter, Kristine Fessenden; four stepchildren, Michelle Bassani, Billie Moynihan, Charles Klinck, and David Klinck; and 12 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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Patrick Greer (September 7, 2013 11:31 AM)
I like reading the obituary section to read about the lives lead by past chemists. I find it amazing to see how their careers have progress upwards with each stage. When I read the obituary about chemist, Jon T. Dols (CE edition July 29th 2013), I found his most interesting. According to CE, he graduated with a history degree but ending up have a full career as a chemist, retiring from the FDA. This reminded me of my first job as a chemist at Aldrich Chemical Company in 1992. Aldrich Chemical had a reputation for hiring people with math, biology, physics, and even psychology degrees to work as chemists. Their work titles started off as operators but over time and good work they would become chemists and enjoy a long career.
Today, that is not the case anymore. After being unexpectedly laid off in 2009, I could not find a job as chemist for nine months. Realizing that synthetic chemistry jobs were limited and the industry is now more bio-chem based, I applied to entry level jobs as a biologist, biochemist, chemical engineer and chemical operator. My thinking was I could be re-trained and start a new career. I was sadly mistaken. Companies today just don’t offer the chance for older chemists to learn a new craft. The feeling I got was, “don’t have the experience, then don’t bother applying.” I would ask that companies please take a second look at some of the older chemists for your open positions. These people bring “real world” experiences, organization skills, “can hit the ground running” and have potential mentoring skills for younger workers. Now more than ever our younger workers today need the advice of experience chemists.

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