Issue Date: February 5, 2018
Obituary: Stephen F. Nelsen
Stephen F. Nelsen, 77, died on Sept. 23, 2017, in Madison, Wis.
“Steve joined the chemistry faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1965, immediately after receiving his Ph.D. at Harvard with P. D. Bartlett. Steve maintained an international reputation as a physical organic chemist, studying radicals, radical ions, and electron transfer. Steve was a marvelous mentor to his students, striking just the right blend of enthusiasm, encouragement, and sage advice for students to satisfy his high standards. Steve also possessed a deep knowledge of history and was a scholar of the mushrooms native to Wisconsin. He was appointed emeritus professor upon his retirement in 2012. His sarcasm and crusty surface hid a heart of gold.”—Robert McMahon, friend and colleague
Most recent title: professor emeritus of chemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Education: B.S., chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1962; Ph.D., chemistry, Harvard University, 1965
Survivors: wife, Adrienne; daughter, Erika
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