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James E. Douglass

by Susan J. Ainsworth
January 19, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 3

James E. Douglass, 84, a professor of chemistry emeritus at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va., died on Nov. 7, 2014, in Sarasota, Fla.

Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, Douglass received a B.A. in chemistry from Rice University in 1952. After serving three years in the Navy as a communications officer, he earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1959.

Following a year as a postdoctoral fellow at the Hickrill Chemical Research Foundation in Katonah, N.Y., he taught at the University of Kentucky. In 1965, he joined the Marshall University faculty as an assistant professor. His research focused on tautomerism in quinaldyl ketones and electrocyclic ring closures in styryl quinolines. He was chair of the chemistry department from 1977 until 1982. He retired in 1997 and moved to Sarasota in 2002.

He was a member of Sigma Xi and Alpha Chi Sigma and an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1958. He was active in the Central Ohio Valley Section, serving as its chair.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jean; sons, Richard and David; four grandchildren; and two 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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