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John Schellman

John Schellman


John Schellman, age 90, died on December 16, 2014 in Eugene, Oregon of age related causes. John was born in Philadelphia on October 24, 1924, the oldest child of Margaret (Mary) and John Schellman. He served in the US Army in WWII. As he was blind in one eye but had some knowledge of Chemistry, he was assigned to Army Intelligence at Camp Ritchie as a lab technician and soon became the Director of the Hospital Laboratory. He was discharged in 1945 and attended college on the GI Bill, receiving his Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Temple University in 1948, and his Doctorate in Chemistry from Princeton in 1951.

?After two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Utah he moved to the Carlsberg Laboratory in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1953. Fifteen minutes after he started his Oersted Fellowship in Copenhagen, the other American postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. F. Charlotte Green, arrived in the lab. John suggested that, as the two new people in the group, they tour Copenhagen together that weekend. They were married February 10th 1954, and when their Fellowships ended, moved to the University of Minnesota where John became an Assistant Professor and Charlotte continued her research as an Adjunct Professor. They moved to the University of Oregon in 1958 as part of the newly revamped Department of Chemistry and a few years later joined the newly formed Institute for Molecular Biology. John’s expertise was in experimental and theoretical physical chemistry and the energetics and dynamics of biomolecules. He and Charlotte loved to travel and spent their academic sabbatical leaves in laboratories in France, Denmark, England, Sweden, Italy and Israel with their two daughters, Heidi and Lise in tow. John formally retired from the University of Oregon in 1989 but continued doing research, publishing his last paper after his 80th birthday. He held honorary degrees from the Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Padova, was a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, as well as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Physical and Biophysical Societies. ?

John and Charlotte reveled in the outdoors, travel, reading on an eclectic range of topics, (preferably in the bathtub), coffee, and music, and were long-term supporters of the arts in Eugene. John played the piano with great enthusiasm if not great skill. His daughters grew up believing that the Mozart piano sonatas included minor swearwords.

?They moved to Cascade Manor in 2002, where John served for a time as President of the Residents' Association. Charlotte passed away in 2008. John is survived by his daughters Lise and Heidi, his grandson Blaise, his brothers Michael and Richard, extensive family on the East coast, and scientific and personal friends worldwide.

A memorial service will be held at Cascade Manor in Eugene, Oregon at 3 pm on January 31, 2015. Donations may be made to the Eugene Symphony, (541-687-9487 x. 104) or to the Oregon Mozart Players (541-345-6648), two organizations that helped sustain John’s lifelong love of music.

Arrangements entrusted to Musgrove Family Mortuary. Please access the obituary and you are invited to sign the guestbook at musgroves.com

 

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