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John Hooz.

John Hooz, MCIC, professor of chemistry and former associate dean of science at the University of Alberta, died at his home in Edmonton on October 30, 1989 after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife, Sandra Carruthers of Edmonton, and by his mother and sister in Rhode Island.

He was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1935 and received his BSc from Brooklyn College in 1956. John then spent some time in the merchant marine and in the US Army and in 1959 entered graduate school at Purdue University. He received his PhD in organic chemistry from Purdue in 1964, studying under the director of R.A. Benkeser. After post-doctoral work with W.S. Johnson at Stanford, John joined the University of Alberta chemistry department as an assistant professor in the fall of 1965. He became associate professor in 1970 and professor in 1975. He served as associate dean of science from 1981 to 1986.

John was an inspiring teacher, both at the graduate and undergraduate level. His research interests centered on the development of new synthetic methods in organic chemistry, especially on finding new ways for the construction of carbon-carbon bonds. His highly original studies of the reactions of between organoboranes and diazo compounds led to the development of new methods for the preparation of several classes of compounds: ketones, esters, aldehydes, nitriles; all involving the formation of new carbon-carbon bonds. He developed an elegant but simple method for the transformation of alcohols into halides which is much used in organic synthesis, and a very useful regiospecific synthesis of Mannich bases. He instilled in his graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, many of whom are now leaders in the academic and industrial chemistry, the courage to question the conventional, and always to let the experiment provide the answer. He paid rigorous attention to experimental detail and many of his publications described new and convenient methods for the preparation of useful, but not readily accessible, compounds.

John was an avid collector of antiques, especially clocks, and an enthusiastic wood-turner. He was a very private person who valued the simple life. A compassionate listener and a generous host, he enriched the lives of his friends, students and colleagues. A celebration of his life was held on November 17 at the University of Alberta. Donations to a scholarship fund to be established in his honour may be sent to Arnold Adam, Chemistry Department, University of Alberta, Edmonton T6G 2G2.

William Ayer, FCIC Past-President, Canadian Society for Chemistry
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Title Annotation:professor of Chemistry, University of Alberta
Author:Ayer, William
Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Article Type:obituary
Date:Feb 1, 1990
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