Charles H. (Chuck) DePuy, 85, a professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder, died on March 14 after a battle with leukemia.
Born in Detroit, DePuy received a B.S. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1948; an M.S. in chemistry from Columbia University in 1952; and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Yale University in 1953 under William von Eggers Doering. He worked with Donald J. Cram as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of California, Los Angeles, from 1953 until 1954.
DePuy then joined Iowa State University, rising to the rank of professor before moving to the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1964.
Much of DePuy’s early research focused on the synthesis and properties of cyclopentadienone and cyclopropanols as well as the electronic effects of elimination reactions and pyrolytic elimination mechanisms. He was a pioneer in gas-phase ion chemistry.
DePuy received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1977 and an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation fellowship in 1986. He retired in 1992. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1950 and receiving the society’s James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry in 2002. The International Journal of Mass Spectrometry & Ion Processes honored DePuy’s contributions to gas-phase ion chemistry in a special issue in 1992.
His family, friends, students, and colleagues will remember him as a person of great gentleness and kindness, wide-ranging interests, and deep intellect.
DePuy is survived by his wife of 63 years, Eleanor; sons, David and Stephen; daughters, Katherine Hall and Nancy; and six grandchildren.