In memoriam: Alumnus George W. Parshall, Ph.D.

Alumnus George W. Parshall, age 89, died Sunday, July 28, 2019, at Delaware Hospice in Milford.

George was born in 1929 in Hackensack, MN, the son of George and Frances Parshall. He grew up in rural Minnesota during the Great Depression, often in a home without electricity or running water. He overcame these hardships and attended the University of Minnesota where he received a Bachelor of Science degree with highest distinction, followed by a doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois. He joined the Central Research Department at the DuPont Experimental Station in 1954, eventually becoming director of Chemical Sciences. He made numerous contributions in the area of organometallic chemistry, including early studies of nitrogen fixation. He was most closely associated with the DuPont process for making critical polymer intermediates used in producing nylon.

Following his retirement from DuPont in 1992, he embarked upon a second career assisting the National Research Council in developing methods to safely dispose of the U.S. Army’s stockpile of chemical weapons. George was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, received DuPont’s Lavoisier Award, received two major awards from the American Chemical Society, was a guest lecturer and wrote many scientific articles and a textbook. 

In addition to his professional accomplishments, George will be remembered as a loving husband, brother, father and grandfather and as a thoughtful friend and mentor.

George was predeceased by his parents and first wife, Naomi. He is survived by his wife, Anna Mae; his brother, Jim; his three sons and their wives, Bill (Marilyn), Jon (Maryann) and David (Susan); his grandchildren, Kelly, Michael, Dan, Chandler, Nathan and Joshua; his stepdaughters and their husbands, Nancy (John) and Betsy (Mike); and his step-grandchildren, Michael, Kevin, Melissa, Tina and Michaela.

For information on memorials and condolences, visit Chandler Funeral Homes & Crematory.