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Anthony A. Rapisarda

by Susan J. Ainsworth
October 28, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 43

Anthony A. Rapisarda, 85, a retired Lever Brothers chemist, died in Burlington, Vt., on April 30 following a brief illness.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Rapisarda briefly attended Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., as a member of the Enlisted Reserve Corps in the Army Specialized Training Reserve Center. He then served one year in the Army and, upon his discharge, earned a B.S. in chemistry at Syracuse University in 1950.

He obtained an M.S. in chemistry in 1962 at Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now Polytechnic Institute of New York University).

Rapisarda carved out a long career at Lever Brothers, where he worked as an analytical chemist, infrared spectroscopist, electron microscopist, new-product chemist, and product development chemist focused on fabric softeners and automatic dishwasher detergents.

Credited with 16 U.S. patents, Rapisarda provided assistance to the legal departments of Lever Brothers and its parent company Unilever in patent infringement suits. He retired from Unilever in 1994.

Rapisarda was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1952.

He was a member of Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church. In retirement, he took pleasure in reading, doing crossword puzzles, and cooking big Italian meals for his family.

Survivors include Rapisarda’s nephew, Robert Roppolo; his nieces, Paula Keller and Linda Roppolo; and four great-nieces.

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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