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Robert Harold Essman (1930-2010).

Robert Harold Essman, age 79, Assistant Professor Emeritus of Molecular Genetics at The Ohio State University, died 2 March 2010. He served honorably in the U.S. Air Force. Joining The Ohio Academy of Science in 1957, Essman affiliated with the Genetics Section, was elected a Fellow (1976) and accorded emeritus status (2005). An active member of the Academy, he served as treasurer (1974-1993), presented and sponsored numerous papers at its annual meetings, and served as a judge at District and State Science Days.

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Born 29 July 1930 in Newark, OH, Essman was the son of Harold Wilde and Anna Mae (Baker) Essman. He attended The Ohio State University where he earned the B.S. in agriculture (1956) and the M.S. in genetics (1960). Under the direction of Elton F. Paddock, Essman completed his thesis on the "Frequency and Ploidy of Twins in Two Varieties of Lycopersicon esculentum Mill." At OSU, he served as an instructor, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology (1966-1968) and Department of Genetics (1968-1973). Promoted to assistant professor with tenure in 1973, he taught introductory genetics until his retirement in 1988. He was a founding member of the OSU Department of Molecular Genetics that was established in 1987.

Essman's research focused on cytogenetics and dosage effect. He was a devoted teacher of introductory genetics for which he received a number of nominations for the College of the Arts and Science Student Council's Good Teaching Award. Serving on numerous departmental, college, and university committees, he particularly enjoyed undergraduate education and teaching.

Besides his membership in The Ohio Academy of Science, Essman was a member of the Botanical Society of America, serving as publications manager. His pastimes included attending performances of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, visiting the Dawes Arboretum, and walking in the woods. Essman cared deeply for people. It has been reported elsewhere that he "will be remembered for his concern for others, his considerate and kindly nature, his unassuming modesty, and his positive and upbeat outlook in the face of adversity."

His wife of 51 years, Dorothy, and his sister, Betty Humphrey, predeceased Essman. Surviving him are his daughters, Kimberly (David) Hiser and granddaughter Kathryn Hiser of Marysville, OH, and Karee (Peter) Van Runkle and grandsons, Andrew, Alan, and Brian Van Runkle, of New Albany, OH; and his brother Leonard Essman, of Pataskala, OH; and very special friend, Bert Price, but who died in November 2010.

Rutherford-Corbin Funeral Home, Worthington, OH, was in charge of arrangements. A Celebration of Life was held. Contributions may be made to Dawes Arboretum, 7770 Jacksontown Road, Newark, OH 43056.

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Title Annotation:NECROLOGY
Author:Burk, William R.
Publication:The Ohio Journal of Science
Article Type:Obituary
Geographic Code:1U3OH
Date:Jun 1, 2010
Words:432
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