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April 4, 2005 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 83, Issue 14

Evelyn Ducharme, a chemistry teacher at Coral Reef High School in Miami, died on Nov. 7, 2004, from lung cancer at the age of 59.

Born in South Carolina, Ducharme earned a bachelor's degree in education from that state's Clemson University and a master's from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She was studying for a doctorate at Florida International University at the time of her death.

Ducharme moved to Miami in 1967, where she spent her early career teaching at four inner-city high schools. She also taught chemistry and physical science at Miami-Dade Community College. In 1999, Ducharme earned certification from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards and mentored other teachers seeking certification.

For her work, Ducharme was honored with the 1990 Chemistry Teacher of the Year Award from the ACS South Florida Section. When she was diagnosed with cancer in June 2004, Ducharme tutored her hospital nurses and continued teaching students at Coral Reef until three weeks before her death.

Ducharme is survived by her husband, Truman; a son; and a sister. She joined ACS in 1989.


Glenn F. Duncan, a research chemist for Bristol-Myers Squibb, died on Feb. 28 at the age of 51.

Born in Talladega, Ala., Duncan received a B.A. in chemistry from Talladega College. He went on to earn an M.S. in chemistry from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. After graduation, Duncan took a position with Bristol-Myers Pharmaceutical Co. in Syracuse, N.Y. He was then transferred to Bristol-Myers Squibb in New Brunswick, N.J. Duncan was a longtime member of the Star of Zion A.M.E. Zion Church.

Duncan is survived by his mother, a brother, and many cousins, including one cousin who was raised in his home.


David R. Ergle, a research chemist retired from the Department of Agriculture, died on Nov. 24, 2004, at the age of 101.

Born in Columbia, S.C., Ergle received a bachelor's degree from Clemson University in 1926 and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina in 1930. Ergle worked for USDA from 1930 to 1974.

Ergle was preceded in death by his wife, Frances Ellen. He is survived by two daughters, six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. An emeritus member, he joined ACS in 1931.


Charles R. Naeser, professor emeritus of chemistry at George Washington University (GW), Washington, D.C., died on March 5 of congestive heart failure. He was 94.

Naeser was born in Mineral Point, Wis., and earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1931. He went on to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1935, where his research helped establish the atomic weight of the rare-earth metal gadolinium.

Following graduation, Naeser joined the faculty at GW, where he enjoyed a 41-year career. He was known for his humorous Christmas and Halloween lectures in which he used various chemicals to produce solutions in holiday colors. In 1940, he developed a technique to enrich uranium for the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory that played an integral part in the development of atomic power. Between 1942 and 1945, he was a captain in the U.S. Army's Chemical Warfare Service, and from 1950 to 1951, he was a scientific adviser to the European Command headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany.

While with GW, Naeser served several terms as chair of the chemistry department. He was president of the Chemical Society of Washington in 1956 and also served as secretary, treasurer, councilor, and chairman of numerous committees. He was vice president of the Washington Academy of Sciences from 1957 to 1958; a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and a member of the Geological Society of Washington, the American Association of University Professors, and Sigma Xi.

Naeser served as chief of the chemistry group for the Geochemistry & Petrology Branch of the U.S. Geological Survey from 1953 to 1955 and was a consultant to the USGS Office of Saline Water Conversion and to the Radioactive Waste Disposal unit.

Naeser received numerous honors and awards, including the 1969 Alpha Chi Sigma Professional Service Award. The Naeser Memorial Lecture Hall in GW's Corcoran Hall was dedicated in 1978 after former students and friends made contributions toward renovating the chemistry lecture hall.

Naeser pursued interests such as model railroads, fishing, taxidermy, and birding. For more than 63 years, he banded birds for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Naeser was preceded in death by his wife, Elma. He is survived by a son, a daughter, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. An emeritus member, he joined ACS in 1935.


Donald S. Noyce, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, died on Nov. 3, 2004. He was 81.

A native of Burlington, Iowa, Noyce received a bachelor's degree from Iowa's Grinnell College in 1944 and a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1947. Following graduation, Noyce joined the faculty at UC Berkeley, where he taught until his retirement in 1986.

Noyce was widely known for his work on acid-catalyzed reactions and protein addition reactions, as well as research on the reactivity patterns of heterocyclic systems. In 1957, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to study in London and Zurich.

As a teacher, Noyce was highly dedicated to his undergraduate students and was especially devoted to his premed class on organic chemistry for biology students. His brother, Robert N. Noyce, cofounder of computer chipmaker Intel Corp., established an undergraduate teaching prize at UC Berkeley in his honor in 1987.

Noyce is survived by his wife, Bettie; two sons; a daughter; and seven grandchildren. An emeritus member, he joined ACS in 1945.


Charles M. Saffer Jr., an inorganic chemist retired from Witco Corp., died on Nov. 21, 2004, at the age of 89.

Saffer was born in Salem, Mass., and earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1938. Upon graduation, he was awarded a Moore Traveling Fellowship to be a research fellow in chemistry at Oxford University.

Upon his return in 1940, Saffer took a position as a research assistant at Harvard University but then joined the U.S. Navy in 1941. He saw two tours of combat duty before retiring on disability as a lieutenant commander in 1946.

Saffer served as technical director of the inorganic specialties division of Witco until his retirement in 1982. In addition to ACS, he was a member of the Army-Navy Club, the Philadelphia branch of the Oxford Society, and the Association of Harvard Chemists.

Saffer is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; a son; four stepchildren; three grandchildren; and five step-grandchildren. An emeritus member, he joined ACS in 1937.

Obituaries are written by Victoria Gilman. Obituary notices may be sent by e-mail to and should include detailed educational and professional history.


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