Obituaries (Stephenson, Fairbairn, et al)


Professor C.C. Stephenson

A memorial service will be held in the MIT Chapel on Friday, Feb. 10, at 2pm for Dr. Clark C. Stephenson, professor emeritus of chemistry. Dr. Stephenson, who taught at MIT for more than 50 years, died suddenly on December 21 at Mt. Auburn Hospital at the age of 82.

Professor Stephenson was well known for his measurement and interpretation of the heat capacity-from room temperature down to liquid hydrogen temperatures-of materials. From these exacting measurements, basic thermodynamic data were obtained that were used to interpret important features of the structure and behavior of crystalline solids.

Through most of his career, Professor Stephenson also had an active role in teaching the first-year chemistry course. He made a major contribution to the revision of the subject which was undertaken following World War II and to subsequent updating of the subject's content and methodology.

Later, when the undergraduate laboratory studies were combined into an integrated laboratory sequence, Dr. Stephenson introduced a number of novel experiments in physical and inorganic chemistry.

Born in Augusta, KS, in 1911, he received his bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas in 1932 and his PhD from the University of California in 1936.

He spent a year in Pittsburgh as a Fellow of the Mellon Institute and came to MIT in 1937 as an instructor in the Department of Chemistry. He became an assistant professor in 1942, associate professor in 1947 and professor in 1956. He was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Professor Stephenson was known throughout the Boston area as an excellent tennis player who for many years played at close to a professional level.

He leaves three children, Nancy Stephenson of Seattle, Robert Stephenson of River Falls, WI, and Alayne Parsons of Columbus, OH.

Professor Harold W. Fairbairn

A memorial gathering was held December 30 for Professor Emeritus Harold W. Fairbairn, 88, of Belmont, who died December 21 from complications of Parkinson's disease.

Dr. Fairbairn, a specialist in petrology, geochronology and petrofabrics, was associated with MIT continuously from 1937 until his retirement in 1972.

Born in Ottawa, Ontario, he received the BSc degree at Queens University in 1929, and the MA in 1931 and the PhD in 1932, both from Harvard. After postdoctoral work in Europe, he was an instructor at Queens University from 1934-37, when he came to MIT as assistant professor of geology. He was promoted to associate professor in 1943 and professor in 1955.

He was the author of numerous scientific articles and a book, The Structural Petrology of Deformed Rocks. In 1978 the Petrology Laboratory in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science was named in his honor.

Professor Fairbairn is survived by two daughters, Ann Rigney of Columbus, OH, and Elspeth Milmore of London; two sons, Patrick W. of Watertown and Neil A. Fairbairn of Belmont, and six grandchildren.

Professor Hamish N. Munro

Dr. Hamish N. Munro, former adjunct professor in the Division of Toxicology and an international authority on mammalian protein metabolism, died on October 28 at the age of 79. Dr. Munro joined the faculty in the former Department of Nutrition and Food Science in 1966 and retired in 1986.

A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, Dr. Munro received both medical and ScD degrees from the University of Glasgow, where he was a faculty member before coming to MIT. He was living in Glasgow at the time of his death. He was active in nutritional activities and sudies of the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization. He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Institute of Biology and the National Academy of Science.

He is survived by a son, Andrew Munro, and a daughter, Joan Munro.

Robert V. Huston

Robert Huston, 75, of Brewster, a retired technical instructor in materials science and engineering, died on October 26. Mr. Huston worked at MIT from 1946 until his retirement in 1980.

He leaves his wife, Roberta Nicholls Huston; three sons, Robert W. of Patten, ME, Stephen of Rochester, NH, and Edward of Newton; a daughter, Bonnie Varney of Old Orchard Beach, ME, and three grandchildren. Remembrances may be sent to the Hospice Association of Cape Cod, 932 Route 6A, Yarmouthport 02675.

Barbara Jeffrey

Barbara Jeffrey, 74, of Arlington, died on November 15. Mrs. Jeffrey was a support staff member at Lincoln Laboratory from 1952 until her retirement in 1985. Her survivors include a son, Bruce Jeffrey, and a daughter, Susan Wright.

Ruth King

Ruth King, 89, a former associate editor of Technology Review, died October 11 in West Yarmouth. Miss King joined the staff of the Alumni Association in 1926, later serving as secretary to the business manager and to the editor. In 1962, she was appointed assistant to the editor and in 1966, she was named associate editor. She retired in 1969 and moved to Cape Cod. She is survived by a brother, Melvin C. King, and a nephew, John W. King, both of Lawrenceville, NJ.

David A. Lynch

David A. Lynch, 59, of Wakefield, a project technician at the Francis Bitter National Magnet Laboratory since 1959, died on November 20. His survivors include his wife, Nancy N. Lynch; a son, Eric D. Lynch, and two daughters, Heather A. and Janice P. Lynch.

Lawrence G. Movsessian

A funeral Mass was said December 17 for Lawrence G. Movsessian, 57, of Lexington, a former gardener at Endicott House who died December 13 following a long illness. Mr. Movsessian began working at MIT in 1981.

He is survived by his wife, Frances Casey Movsessian; a son, Larry Movsessian of Woburn; two daughters, Kathleen and Victoria Movsessian of Lexington; his parents, Aram and Rita Movsessian of Keene, NH, and a grandchild. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Lions' Eye Research Fund, PO Box 6050, New Bedford, MA 02742.

Other deaths

Word has been received of the deaths of the following people, about whom there is no additional information:

Paul Harris, 72, of Asheville, NC, a research staff member at Lincoln Laboratory who retired in 1990, died on October 16. He is survived by a son, Steve Harris.

Harry Morss Jr., 81, of Hartwick, MA, an academic staff member in Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences from 1959 until 1972, died in November 1992, leaving his wife, Elizabeth.

Manuel Pimentel, 81, of Lowell, a service staff member at Lincoln Laboratory from 1969 until 1979, died on November 10. He leaves his wife, Eleanor.

Wilbert L. Sealy, 64, of Dorchester, a shipper's helper in Physical Plant since 1968, died last March following a long illness. He is survived by his wife, Marceline Sealy.

Vern Y. Steeves, 88, of Jasper, GA, who retired from Physical Plant in 1972, died on November 12. He had worked at MIT since 1944. He leaves his wife, Violet B. Steeves.

Jeanne Townsend, 65, of Tucson, AZ, a support staff member in mechanical engineering from 1965-82, died December 17 following a long illness. Her survivors include two daughters, Ann Coleman and Karen Zyliez.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 11, 1995.


Topics: Obituaries

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