Chemical Society of Washington

Dr. Paul H. Terry

Remembrance of Dr. Paul H. Terry

Dr. Paul H. Terry passed away suddenly on November 18, 2013 at his home in Beltsville, MD at 85 years of age. As a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) for 56 years, Dr. Terry was an active member of the Chemical Society of Washington (CSW) and the ACS. He served in many capacities for which he was elected as an ACS Fellow in 2010 and received both the Community Service Award and the Charles L. Gordon Award from CSW. Dr. Terry was President of CSW in 1987, represented CSW as a Councilor for 25 years, started the Retired Chemists Group in 1987 and remained active in this group until his death, was Committee Chairman for 27 years of the Leo Schubert Award for High School Chemistry Teaching, was Chairman of the Awards Committee and organized the Meeting in Miniature for students. For ACS, Dr. Terry served for fifteen years each as member, chairman, and consultant on the Admissions Committee and the Membership Affairs Committee. He was also active in the Greater Washington Institute of Chemists and a member for 33 years.

As a volunteer his second great love was Toastmasters International where he was an active member for 40 years. He rose through the governance ranks from Club President to District Governor of the Washington area in 1983-84. He helped found many clubs and was particularly proud of starting the Distinguished Toastmaster Leaders Club.

Dr. Terry earned a B.S. in chemistry from Southeastern Massachusetts University and both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in organic chemistry from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He was employed as a research organic chemist for 25 years at the USDA Agricultural Research Station, Beltsville, MD. For the first half of his career he worked in the Chemosterilant Laboratory in research and development of insect chemosterilants with low mammalian toxicity, developed two unusual and novel new classes of effective compounds and earned an international reputation in his research area. The second half of his career was in the Plant Hormone Laboratory where he was involved in the development of a program on plant hormone analysis. This research successfully determined whether endogenous levels of abscisic acid in plants are correlated with various environmental stressors and developed a chemical analysis, which allowed an unequivocal correlation between leaf development and indole-3-acetic acid levels in sugar beet leaves. Every summer for 25 years he mentored one or two undergraduate students in his laboratory.

Dr. Terry was born in Fall River, MA to Mabel (Burns) and Job Terry. He was raised and educated in the Fall River - Assonet area. Upon graduation from undergraduate school, he served in the U.S. Army for two years, most of that time at Fort Myer, VA. Then, he pursued his graduate studies. His funeral was held on November 23, 2013 in Fall River with burial next to his parents in Assonet, MA. He leaves behind many cousins and friends. Memorial donations in memory of Dr. Terry can be made to SOME (So Others Might Eat), 71 'O' Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 or the National Kidney Foundation, Inc., 30 East 33rd Street, New York, NY 10016. A Celebration of Life Service followed by a reception will be held for Paul on Sunday, November 2, 2014, 2-5 pm, at the Banquet Hall of the American Legion Greenbelt Post 136, 6900 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770 (301-345-0136).

Notice in the Washington Post

John Moore Ruth

John Ruth Dr. Ruth pioneered the application of mass spectrometry in the analysis of organic compounds before the advent of hyphenated analytical methods which combine chromatography with mass spectrometry. He operated and refined a high resolution mass spectrometer in the 1960s and assisted and advised in the use of this new analytical technique to scientists not only in USDA laboratories at Beltsville but also others at neighboring universities and federal research laboratories. He was a contributor to several research papers involving the application of mass spectrometry and chromatography for structural elucidation of agricultural chemicals, including insect and plant growth regulators among others. He was a scholar who authored numerous scientific publications in the field of agricultural chemicals.

For many years Dr. Ruth actively served the CSW. He was President in 1981 and served as Councilor for more than 25 years. He also served on several CSW Committees. He was a strong advocate for employment protection of chemical professionals and advocated against layoffs in industry and government. While Assistant Editor for the Capital Chemist, Dr. Ruth was the first CSW member to speak openly in support of the local area chemists when government laboratories were victims of cutbacks about three decades ago (Capital Chemist, September 1979). He received the Charles Gordon Award in 1985 for his contributions to CSW.

At the national level of ACS in the 1970s Dr. Ruth joined the movement initiated by Alan Nixon, William Bailey and Attila Pavlath to transform the ACS to a more member-oriented society. As Dennis Chamot, a close colleague, has summarized this new movement directed at benefiting members; "John was an early and active supporter of the professional movement in ACS that has transformed the ACS from a narrowly focused scientific society into a professional organization that offers a wide range of services to chemists and other chemical professionals throughout their professional lives". Dr. Ruth served on the ACS Committee on Public Relations and on the Committee on Economic Status which has been renamed the Committee on Economic and Professional Activities (CEPA). He was an active member of the Division of Professional Relations (DPR) in its formative years and served as its Chair in 1992. DPR presented him with the Henry Hill Award in 2000 for his tireless efforts to uplift the professional lives of chemists and chemical engineers. Another important contribution from Dr. Ruth was his active support through the petition process of worthy candidates who were not chosen by the ACS nomination process for national office. He campaigned for the election of petition candidates that included Attila Pavlath, Ann Nalley and Dianne Schmidt who were elected to the office of ACS President.

Dr. Ruth was also active in the American Institute of Chemists (AIC) and served on the Board of Directors and as Chairman of its local section known as the District of Columbia Institute of Chemists (DCIC).

Upon hearing of the death of John Ruth, Attila Pavlath said that "John was an exceptional rare human being in every area I can think of: a friend, a scientist, an ACS activist. There are no adequate words to describe the traits of his character, but devotion, diligence, enthusiasm, loyalty and professionalism come to mind. He will be sorely missed".

Contributed by Bhushan Mandava and Regina Cody

Fred Heineken

Fred Heineken, National Science Foundation and and CSW Board Member
Published: December 2012

Fred Heineken, 73, a chemical engineer who retired from the National Science Foundation in 2009 as a program director, died Nov. 19 at a hospital in Oceanside, Calif., of cardiac arrest.

The death was confirmed by his son, Chris Heineken.

Dr. Heineken, whose speciality was metabolic engineering and microbiology, spent his early career working for the agricultural biotechnology company Monsanto in Missouri and the medical device company Cobe in Colorado. He moved to the Washington area in 1985 to join the National Science Foundation.

Frederick George Heineken was born in Chicago and raised in Wilmette, Ill. He was a 1962 chemical engineering graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and received a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1966.

He was a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, received awards for distinguished service at the National Science Foundation and held leadership posts with the American Chemical Society.

He moved to Carlsbad, Calif., from Potomac in 2009. He was a past member of River Road Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda.

His marriage to Jan Broder ended in divorce. Besides his son, of Carlsbad, survivors include two sisters and three granddaughters.

Adam Bernstein, The Washington Post Company

Dr. James Zwolenik


On Friday, October 5, 2012, James Zwolenik, age 79, died peacefully at his residence in Washington, DC. He is survived by his brother Edward and by his cousins Robert, Edissa, Clare, Bernadette and Christine.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Zwolenik graduated from Case Western Reserve, earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry at Yale, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Cambridge University. He worked at the Chevron research laboratories before beginning a long career with the National Science Foundation. In his last position, he was the Assistant Inspector General for Oversight. He was very active in the Washington, DC chapter of the American Chemical Society, and was also elected to the Cosmos Club.

For more than 40 years, he remained an active parishioner at St. Stephen Martyr RC Church, where he dedicated his time to the liturgy, to students at George Washington University through the Knights of Columbus, and to numerous charitable works of the parish. He will be deeply missed by his many friends in the DC Metro area. A Memorial Mass will be held on Friday, October 19 at noon at St. Stephen's Church, 2436 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington, DC. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the George Washington University Chapter of the Knights of Columbus (

Published in The Washington Post on October 17, 2012


The Memorial Service for Jim Zwolenik will take place on Friday, October 19 at 12:00 PM. The service will take place at Saint Stephen Martyr Catholic Church located at the corner of 25th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

Dr. Leopold May

CSW Remembers Dr. Leopold May

Dr. Leopold May (b 11/26/23) chemist, spectroscopist, researcher, teacher, editor, historian, symphonophile, and poet died of natural causes 6/17/12. Dr. May was a faculty member at The Catholic University of America (CUA) for 53 years, and ACS member for 67 years, a member of the American Society for Testing and Materials, International Commission on the Application of the Mossbauer Effect, Mossbauer Spectroscopy Colloquium for the Greater Washington Area, Phi Lambda Upsilon, Sigma Pi Sigma, and the Propagation of the Music of Chemist-Composers Society. He was actively engaged in the Chemical Society of Washington (CSW), local chapter of the ACS.

Doctor May was the recipient of several awards: Engineering Education (65): NASA; Service Award (65 & 08) SAS; (04) ACS; Summer Faculty Fellowship (74 & 5) NASA; Exchange Scientist (74-8): USA/USSR Academies of Science, The Benemerenti Medal (88) CUA; Special Recognition Award For Milestones in Chemistry Calendar (94) ACS; Elected as a member of Sigma Pi Sigma(2004) Morgan State and Sigma Pi Sigma (07) Morgan State Editor's Choice Award (04); Appreciation for Significant Contributions (08) CSW; Recognized for Outstanding Contributions to the advancement of the field of Spectroscopy and its Applications (08), SAS.

His interest in chemistry was sparked with a chemistry set received as a Bar Mitzvah gift. He participated in the American Institute of Science and Engineering Exhibit at the New York World's Fair in 1940. He graduated from: Francis Cleafield High School (NY), City College (NY) BChE 44 and Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (NY) MS49, PhD 51. His academic training was interrupted by service as a Naval Radio Technician’s Program Instructor (44-49).

After short term positions at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Brooklyn College, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In 1959 he joined the faculty of CUA, earning tenure in 1961 and promoted to full professor in 1982 and professor emeritus 1997. In 1996 Dr. May was in a crippling accident. He returned to his laboratory in 1997 and continued to work in his laboratory until May of 2012. A strong supporter of undergraduate research, Dr. May worked with numerous undergraduates, and organized the first three Washington area Undergraduate Research Symposia

During his career Dr. May made contributions to biology, biochemistry, lipid and protein dynamics and chemistry, bio-inorganic chemistry (one of the first scientists to apply Mossbauer spectroscopy to biological samples), chemistry of inorganic complexes, antibiotic resistance, chemical ecology, archaeology, as well as analytical and forensic chemistry. During his career Dr. May authored or co-authored 132 papers (32 after his accident) in more than 60 journals working with more than 130 collaborators (several undergraduates) from four continents. Dr. May contributed chapters to 22 books and monographs. Dr. May spent time teaching, conducting research and/or collaborating with scientists at a variety of institutions: lecturer (63-68): Canisius College (NY); guest worker (67-8): National Bureau of Standards (now NIST, MD); visiting associate professor (72-3) : Tel Aviv University (Israel); visiting scientist (72-3) Soreq Nuclear Physics Centre (Israel); NASA/ASEE Summer Faculty Fellow: Goddard Space Flight Center(75 & 75) and Naval Medical Research Institute (83) (MD); Exchange Scientist (76-7 & 8): Institute of Chemical Physics, USA/USSR (Moscow) Academies of Sciences, Visiting Professor of Chemistry (78): Banaras Hindu University (India); Visiting Research Professor (78-82 & 88-90) Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute; Lima Peru (Fulbright scholar 80), Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, (Visiting Scientist 87). Senior Lecturer Fulbright Program (80): Lima Peru; Visiting Professor of Physics (84-5) Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel); Chemist (87) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Co-Director (89) Mossbauer Spectroscopy Institute, Industrial Applications (TX); and Research Mentor and Scientist (00-3): Morgan State University (MD)

In addition to research and teaching duties, Dr. May was a managing editor (60-1), then Editor-in-Chief (61-4) finally serving on the editorial board (68-75) for the journal: Applied Spectroscopy and served as president (71) of the Society of Applied Spectroscopy (SAS) in 71. During this period he conceived and edited three books of "Spectroscopic Tricks" and the book: "Introduction to Mossbauer Spectroscopy." From 1962 until 1985, he compiled a bibliography of Mossbauer Effect Data of biological molecules. He was a member of the Advisory board (92-) for MIX (Electronic Journal on Mossbauer Spectroscopy. Applying his editor's skills to chemical history Dr. May produced several calendars with dates of historical interest in chemistry, spectroscopy and Mossbauer spectroscopy and for the SAS. He began publishing the "Chemist of the Month" which has recently become a Facebook page. His lists of chemical history were published in numerous newsletters of ACS local sections. In the last several years Dr. May combined his love of classical music and chemistry founding (06) the Society for Propagation of the Music of Chemist-Composers to promote chemists who composed music and composers that were amateur chemists. Since its inception the Society of Chemical Composes has arranged several "Chemist Composers" concerts in the US and abroad.

He is survived by his brother, wife, two sons, daughter-in-law and grandson.

Dr. William A. Moats

William A. Moats, research chemist
Published: August 27

William A. Moats, 83, a research chemist who retired from the Agriculture Department's Agricultural Research Service in 1997, died Aug. 2 at a nursing home in Canandaigua, N.Y.

He had pneumonia, said his daughter Sandra Moats. A former Potomac resident, he had lived in the Washington area for 60 years before moving to New York in 2010.

Dr. Moats worked for the Agricultural Research Service for four decades. He was the author or co-author of dozens of publications related to the detection of bacteria and pesticides in animal products. He was the editor of the book "Agricultural Uses of Antibiotics" (1986) and co-editor of "Veterinary Drug Residues: Food Safety" (1996).

Dr. Moats held leadership positions with the American Chemical Society and organized several symposiums at national meetings. He received professional honors from that group and the Association of Official Analytical Chemists, his family said. William Alden Moats was a Des Moines native. He received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Iowa State University in 1950 and a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Maryland in 1957.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Sheila A. Moats of Canandaigua, and two daughters, Laura Moats of Naples, N.Y., and Sandra Moats of Racine, Wis.

Emily Langer
The Washington Post Company