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Truman S. (Ted) Light

by Susan J. Ainsworth
August 19, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 33

Truman S. (Ted) Light, 90, an industrial research scientist, died on March 26 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.

Born in New Britain, Conn., Light earned a B.S. in chemistry from Harvard University in 1944 and an M.S. in analytical chemistry under Izaak Kolthoff at the University of Minnesota in 1949. He then served on the chemistry department faculty at Boston College before completing a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Rome in 1960.

Light served briefly as a communications officer in the Navy in the 1940s and remained in the Navy Reserve until 1964, retiring as a lieutenant commander.

After finishing his Ph.D., he worked as a senior scientist at Avco before joining Foxboro as a principal research scientist. He made significant contributions to the field of water chemistry and helped develop early heat shields for reentry of manned space capsules used by NASA.

Light returned to Boston College as an adjunct faculty member just before he retired from Foxboro in 1988.

He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1947. He served on many ACS committees and was chairman of the ACS Northeastern Section in 1978. In 2007, Light and his wife, Arlene, received the ACS Division of Professional Relations’ Henry Hill Award.

He is survived by his wife; sons, Stuart Licht, Edward, and Joel; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Light’s first wife, Reeva, died in the late 1970s.

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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