If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



Horace R. Davis Jr.

by Susan J. Ainsworth
July 14, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 28

Horace R. Davis Jr., 91, a retired 3M research chemist, died on May 29.

Born in Clayton, Mo., Davis earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1943. He served in the Army during World War II, managing the production of an unstable catalyst used to make an early version of a DuPont Teflon gasket that was critical to the production of uranium-235 for the first atomic bomb. After the war, he received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in 1949.

Davis spent his 42-year career as a chemist for 3M, working for the company in St. Paul, Minn.; Genoa, Italy; and Rochester, N.Y. Specializing in photochemistry, he held 27 patents. Davis was an emeritus member of ACS, which he joined in 1943.

He was a 30-year member of the First Unitarian Church of Rochester. A strong and early supporter of civil rights, Davis also served in the Peace Corps from 1990 until 1992, taught English in the Ukraine, and until recently, delivered Meals On Wheels every week.

A music lover, he was an avid amateur oboist.

Davis will be missed for his generosity, intellect, enthusiasm, happy disposition, and unflagging love of sharing bad limericks and quoting Ogden Nash.

He was predeceased by his son Charles and former wife, Joyce. Survivors include his son Robert; his daughters, Julia and Sylvia ; six grandchildren; and three great- 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.


This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.