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John B. (Jake) Stothers

by Susan J. Ainsworth
February 25, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 8

John B. (Jake) Stothers, 81, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) in London, Ontario, died of cancer on Oct. 20, 2012.

Stothers received a B.Sc. in 1953 and an M.Sc. in 1954, both in chemistry from UWO. He earned a Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1957.

He then began working as a research chemist at Imperial Oil in Sarnia, Ontario, before launching his academic career as a lecturer in UWO’s chemistry department in 1959. He rose to the rank of full professor, served as department chair from 1976 until 1986, and retired in 1996.

Stothers’ research involved synthesis of natural products, applications of proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and development of 13C NMR as a method of structural analysis.

He authored or coauthored more than 300 papers and a book on 13C NMR spectroscopy. He accepted fellowships from the Royal Society of Canada and the Chemical Institute of Canada. He was a member of ACS from 1956 through 1999.

Known for his wit and intolerance of hypocrisy, Stothers loved jazz and having a drink with friends. His hobbies included fishing, golfing, and model building.

Stothers is survived by his wife of 60 years, Catherine Ruth (Cae); daughters, Marta and Margot; and two 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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