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Lloyd J. Dolby

by Susan J. Ainsworth
August 18, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 33

Lloyd J. Dolby, 78, a retired professor of chemistry at the University of Oregon, died on May 16 in Eugene, Ore., of complications from cancer.

Born in Elgin, Ill., Dolby earned a B.S. in chemistry at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1956, and a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1959.

After a year as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Dolby joined the faculty at the University of Oregon, where he taught organic chemistry from 1960 until he retired in 1991.

In 1980, he founded Organic Consultants, and he continued to conduct pharmaceutical research there until last year.

Dolby was known for his pioneering work in both organic synthesis and physical organic chemistry. He studied the mechanism of the Prins reaction, indole chemistry, the synthesis of indole alkaloids, and terpene chemistry.

More recently, he worked on the synthesis of novel phosphodiesterase inhibitors, imidazoles, and proton-pump inhibitor prodrugs. Dolby was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1959.

An expert fisherman, Dolby was happiest in his McKenzie River drift boat rowing the local rivers or hunting with his Labrador retriever, Jasper. He taught many people the fine points of fishing for trout, steelhead, and salmon. He and his wife, Darlene, took fishing trips around the world in places including Mexico, Belize, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Russia, Mongolia, and Puerto Rico.

In addition to his wife, Dolby is survived by his daughters, Constance Vasek, Laura, and Barbara, and six 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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