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Werner S. Zimmt

by Susan J. Ainsworth
November 17, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 46

Werner S. Zimmt, 93, a retired DuPont research chemist, died on Sept. 12.

Born in Berlin, Zimmt immigrated to the U.S. in 1935 and served in the U.S. Army infantry during World War II. After the war, he attended the University of Chicago, earning a B.S. in 1947, an M.S. in 1949, and a Ph.D. under Morris S. Kharasch in 1951, all in chemistry.

Zimmt then joined DuPont in Philadelphia, beginning what would become a 34-year career with the company. He conducted research in polymers for coatings and studied the mechanisms and kinetics of polymerization and cross-linking processes.

He received the George B. Heckel Award from the National Paint & Coatings Association in 1973. He was an emeritus member of ACS, which he joined in 1948.

Indulging a lifelong interest in archaeology, Zimmt received an M.S. in that field from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981.

He moved to Tucson in 1984 and was appointed an adjunct professor in the department of agricultural and biosystems engineering at the University of Arizona. He was also named a museum fellow at the Arizona State Museum.

Zimmt’s first wife, Marianne, whom he married in 1947, died in 1997. His second wife, Liesel, whom he married in 1997, died in 2007. He is survived by his daughters, Stephanie Zimmt-Mack and Barbara; his son Matthew; three stepchildren; six grandchildren; four step-grandchildren; and four step-great-grandchildren. His son Michael predeceased him.

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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