The loss of a true gentleman and educator. You know Malcolm made a
significant contribution to society when the Governor of the State of Idaho
declares Malcolm M. Renfrew Day (2010) and the University of Idaho names a
building (1985) after Professor Renfrew. Malcolm Renfrew was our third
Chair and the editor of the Division's Newsletter, the precursor of the
Journal of Chemical Health and Safety. Malcolm is among the few energetic
chemists that championed the ACS for a Division of Chemical Health and
Personally I can only echo Neal Langerman, Doug Walters and Robert Alaimo's
statements about our friend Malcolm Renfrew.
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of
Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety
Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2013 3:56 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Passing of Malcolm Renfrew
I am saddened to tell of the passing of Professor Malcolm M. Renfrew at the
age of 103 on his birthday, Oct. 12, 2013. Dr. Renfrew was a major and much
loved player in your Division for many years. I have attached his obituary.
Thank you -
University Distinguished Professor
Department of Chemistry
University of Idaho
Malcolm MacKenzie Renfrew
Malcolm MacKenzie Renfrew passed away peacefully at Good Samaritan Village
in Moscow on October 12, 2013, his 103rd birthday. He was born October 12,
1910 in Spokane, Washington, the elder son of Earl and Elsie MacKenzie
Renfrew. He spent his growing up years in Colfax, Washington, and Potlatch,
Idaho. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemistry from the University
of Idaho and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Minnesota. While
at the University of Idaho he met Carol Campbell from Rosalia, Washington,
and in 1938 they married in Moscow, Idaho and moved to New Jersey, where he
was employed by duPont in research on new plastics. He was involved in the
development of Teflon and made its first public presentation at the national
meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in 1946. He later became
director of chemical research and development for General Mills, Inc. in
Minneapolis and for Spencer Kellogg and Sons in Buffalo, New York. In 1959
the Renfrews returned to Moscow where Malcolm headed the physical sciences
department of the University of Idaho. He later chaired the chemistry
department and officially retired as professor emeritus of chemistry in
1976. In semi-retirement he served the university as patent director and
Executive Vice President of the Idaho Research Foundation.
Malcolm was professionally active in the ACS (Fellow), holding offices in
three different divisions, and long represented the Washington-Idaho Border
Section in the national council.
During a sabbatical leave in 1967 he was a staff member of the National
Science Foundation-supported Advisory Council on College Chemistry at
Stanford University and for some years continued responsibilities as
director of the College Chemistry Consultants Service. He also served as
safety editor of the Journal of Chemical Education and for four years was a
member of the National Research Council's Materials Advisory Board.
Malcolm was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of
Science (Fellow), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Society
of Chemical Industry (Brit), Sigma Xi, and Phi Beta Kappa. Honors included
awards for teaching by the ACS Northeastern Section and the Manufacturing
Chemists Association, and the ACS Santa Clara Valley Section Award honored
his service to the Society. The University of Minnesota recognized him for
outstanding achievement and, upon retirement, the University of Idaho
awarded him an honorary Doctor of Science degree. The ACS Chemical Health
and Safety Division gave him its top award. He was co-editor of Safe
Laboratories: Principles and Practices for Design and Remodeling (1990), and
editor of Safety in the Chemical Laboratory, Vol. IV (1980). He was author
of professional papers on plastics, chemical safety, and molecular
spectroscopy. He was named to the University of Idaho Hall of Fame, the
State of Idaho Hall of Fame and received the Distinguished Idahoan
University of Idaho Alumni Award. He and his wife Carol received the Idaho
Treasures Award from the University of Idaho Retirees Association.
In 1985, to mark Malcolm's 75th birthday, the Physical Sciences Building at
the University of Idaho was named Malcolm M. Renfrew Hall. The building was
rededicated in 2010 on the occasion of his 100th birthday.
Malcolm and his wife Carol traveled extensively and visited all the
continents except Antarctica.
Malcolm was a gifted watercolorist and was a member of the Palouse
Watercolor Socius, Idaho Watercolor Society, watercolor societies in
Buffalo, New York and Palo Alto, California. He was also a member of Phi
Gamma Delta Fraternity and the Moscow First Presbyterian Church. He was a
trombonist with the UI Vandal non-marching pep band, chemist, educator,
gardener, philanthropist, and dog lover. But, above all he was a people
person who never met a person he did not like nor one he would not encourage
to achieve goals that they did not know they had.
Malcolm was predeceased by his parents, his beloved wife Carol in 2010, and
his brother Edgar in 2010. Cremation has taken place and his ashes will be
interred in the Columbarium at the First Presbyterian Church in Moscow. A
memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church at 2:00 p.m.
on Monday, October 28, 2013.
Malcolm's friends and family would like to thank all the staff of Good
Samaritan for their compassionate care of Malcolm for the past several
years. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Renfrew/Campbell Science
and Humanities Endowment, c/o University of Idaho Foundation, 875 Perimeter
Drive, MS 3147, Moscow; the Humane Society of the Palouse, 2019 White
Avenue, Moscow; Good Samaritan Village, 640 N. Eisenhower, Moscow; the First
Presbyterian Church, 405 S. Van Buren Street, Moscow; or a charity of one's
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