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Donald D. DeFord

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Donald D. DeFord Obituary
DeFord, Donald D. A pioneer in electrochemistry, passed away peacefully on March 1, 2014, in Peoria, Arizona.He was 95. DeFord was a professor of chemistry at Northwestern University from 1948 to 1987. A prodigious scholar, he published more than 40 scholarly papers and served as a member of the Advisory Board of Analytical Chemistry, an American Chemical Society publication. Don DeFord was an innovator in the use of operational amplifiers in chemistry. In 1958, he reported on the design of an operational amplifier based potentiostat for electrochemistry research, which was the forerunner of modern electrochemical instrumentation. DeFord also was a highly innovative administrator with a passion for outstanding management. He served as Chemistry Department Chairman for nine years where he established an Analytical Services Laboratory, computerized the business office, and initiated a Weekly Department Bulletin. He also served briefly as Science Advisor to the Provost, Assistant Vice President for Research, and Director of the Office for Research and Sponsored Programs of Northwestern University. Professor DeFord earned his BA in 1940 and his MA and Ph.D. degrees in 1947 and 1948 at the University of Kansas. He served in the U.S. Army in Guadalcanal and the Philippines, during World War II and subsequently for 20 years in the reserves, rising to the rank of Colonel. He was born December 28, 1918 in Alton, Kansas, the first of four sons of Dale DeFord and Lena Hadley. In 1942, he and Leora Adams married and made their home in Glenview, Illinois. The couple were members of the Glenview Methodist Church, where Mrs. DeFord served for 36 years as choir director. Don DeFord was a passionate gardener and handyman who made or repaired almost anything for family and friends. Donald DeFord moved to Sun City West with his wife in 2002, where they were members of the Desert Palms Presbyterian Church.He served on the town posse and was Treasurer of the Grandview Terrace Charitable Foundation until 2009. Professor DeFord leaves behind daughter, Ruth Kotecha, a retired Professor of Music at Hunter College, New York; son, David DeFord, an engineer in San Francisco, and four grandchildren, Steven DeFord, Shelley Stanphill, and Vicram and Vijay Kotecha.
Published in Chicago Sun-Times on Mar. 29, 2014
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