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David Holden.

David Holden, MCIC, of the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo, and a valued member of the Institute of Polymer Research, died on April 25 after a long struggle with cancer.

When he graduated from McGill University in 1976, David was awarded the licentiate (with distinction) in music in piano performance and an honours BSc in chemistry. During the three years of that double major, he maintained an almost straight A-average. David was awarded the

J.W. McConnell Science Scholarship (1971-6), the Sir Edward Beatty Memorial Scholarship in Mathematics (1971-4), the Sir William MacDonald Scholarship, the F.J. LeMaistre Award, The Chemical Institute of Canada Silver Medal, the Anne Molson Prize, and the Society of the Chemical Industry Award.

An interest in polymeric materials, perhaps instilled from his father Bill Holden (a physical chemist with CIL Ventures Group and a polymer chemist), developed at McGill where he worked with Adi Eisenberg, FCIC. With National Research Council 1967 Science Scholarships, David set off for Toronto where he earned his MSc (1978) and PhD (1980) in polymer science under J.E. Guillet, FCIC.

From May 1981 to August 1982, David worked with Helmut Ringsdorf at the University of Mainz, West Germany, where he was an Alexander von Humbolt Fellow. In 1982, he joined the University of Waterloo as an NSERC University Research Fellow, becoming an associate professor with a cross-appointment in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

During that period, David took time out to contribute to his professional society as membership chairman of the Wellington-Waterloo section of the CIC. He organized the 4th Great Lakes Minisymposium in Photochemistry. Conference presentations, invited seminars, review articles, and a growing list of publications attest to his creativity in research. During the last four years, David served as departmental graduate officer on the Ontario Graduate Scholarship Selection Panel.

During his final months, it was very much 'business as usual' for David as he presented a graduate course in polymer science and supervised his five students and his postdoctoral fellow. Twenty-six fourth-year students worked on projects under his supervision. Eleven other students and two other postdoctoral fellows also worked in his laboratory.

David was a quiet, humble, unassuming person with remarkable courage. The amputation of a leg was one more challenge he successfully mastered. He loved his family, loved music, loved chemistry and loved life. David and his wife Jo-Ann performed twin piano selections for themselves and others, most recently performing for the 500 registrants at the opening of the Tenth International Conference on Chemical Education in August 1989. He followed in his family's tradition of living a vigorous outdoor life of camping, skiing, cycling and gardening.

David Holden's contributions to the chemical literature, including the papers he finished in the last weeks of his life, are significant, but many of this colleagues believe his greater legacy is the students to whom he imparted something of his integrity, humanity, and gentle but indomitable spirit. David had music in his soul and it pervaded his life and the lives with which he came into contact. The David Holden Scholarship in Chemistry has been created by colleagues and family as a tribute to a life abundantly lived. He is survived by his wife Jo-Ann Strathdee, his son James, his parents Barbara and Bill Holden, brothers lan and Paul, and sisters Kathy, Barbara and Madeleine.

Don Irish, FCIC

University of Waterloo
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Title Annotation:professor of chemistry, University of Waterloo
Author:Irish, Don
Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Article Type:obituary
Date:Sep 1, 1990
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