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Gerald L. Wherry

by Susan J. Ainsworth
December 15, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 50

Gerald L. Wherry, 100, a retired Diamond Shamrock chemical engineer, died on March 6.

Born in Tribbey, Okla., Wherry received a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University) in 1934.

Wherry then joined Shamrock Oil & Gas, beginning as an assistant chemist at the McKee plant near Dumas, Texas.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Wherry traveled to Dallas to enlist in the Navy. However, Shamrock refused to release him for military service because his work involved the development of high-octane aviation fuel that was critical to national defense and the war effort. Determined to serve, he secured permission to join the Naval Reserve.

Subsequently, Wherry became chief chemist and manager of engineering for Diamond Shamrock Oil & Gas after the 1967 merger of Shamrock Oil & Gas with Diamond Alkali. He retired in 1978.

Joining ACS in 1940, Wherry was an emeritus member with 75 years of service.

Wherry enjoyed travel and family vacations. He was an active member of First Christian Church in Amarillo, Texas.

Wherry’s wife of 39 years, Iris, died in 1985. His second wife, Virginia, whom he married in 1987, died in 2012. He is survived by two daughters, Nancy Stark and Ruth; two 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.


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