William "Bill" Suits, 80, died on April 9 in East Windsor, New Jersey, of complications related to COVID-19. His wife, Donna, 78, died 6 days later, also of COVID-19.
Suits is remembered by many in the American Chemical Society community for his passionate work as a mentor for high school students in the ACS Project SEED program, as a long-time ACS career consultant, and as an active member of the ACS North Jersey Section.
“It seemed like every time I talked to Bill, he was planning a new event for chemists in New Jersey to help them find jobs,” says Lisa M. Balbes of Balbes Consultants and a fellow ACS career consultant. “He was also constantly finding and sharing interesting articles with new tools and trends in employment practices. He always had a big smile on his face, was incredibly passionate about careers for scientists, and I never knew him to turn down an opportunity to help anyone.”
Suits earned a BS in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1963. He worked for several years at the university managing the medical science lab and the biophysics lab. He then joined Packard Instrument Company as a product specialist. He worked for Varian Medical Systems, and was a board member of the nonprofit organization, AIDSfreeAfrica.
Suits served on numerous ACS committees. “I got to know Bill when we both served on the Committee on Local Section Activities,” says Kathy Shaginaw, president of Particular Solutions. “Bill and I had many conversations about outreach activities that involved kids. Bill was passionate about helping younger chemists with career advice and getting them excited about chemistry. He was a kind and generous man, and I will miss seeing him at ACS meetings.”
“Bill and I served together on the ACS Committee on Public Relations and Communications,” says Jennifer MacLachlan, co-owner of PID Analyzers. “Bill always had such a nice way about him; always a bit of a mix of inquisitiveness and humor. He will be remembered for being a true chemistry ambassador.”
Suits received the Division of Professional Relations’ 2010 Henry A. Hill award, the 2012 E. Ann Nalley Middle Atlantic Region Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society, and was inducted into the 2012 Class of ACS Fellows.
Suits is survived by his children, Tim Suits and Joanna (Suits) Hubenthal, and stepchildren, Wendy (Gould) Biggs, Paul Gould, and Brian Gould; and 11 grandchildren.
This story was revised on April 24, 2020, to add Bill and Donna Suits's age at the time of their death.