Donald C. Dittmer, professor emeritus of chemistry, Syracuse University, died Tuesday (Nov. 26, 2013) in his home. Death was unexpected. His plans to be with family in Alexandria, Va., for Thanksgiving sadly did not materialize. He was born Oct. 17, 1927, in Quincy, a son of O.L. and Helen Moore Dittmer. Dr. Dittmer graduated from Quincy Senior High in 1945, followed by service in the U.S. Army medical corps at Percy Jones Army Hospital, Battle Creek, Mich., and two years at Quincy College. While a student at QC, Don worked as a night reporter and copy reader for The Quincy Herald-Whig. He earned his bachelor of science degree in chemistry at the University of Illinois where he graduated as co-salutatorian with Bronze Tablet recognition. Don was awarded his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1953, which was followed by one year as a post-doctoral student at Harvard University. Dittmer's teaching profession began at the University of Pennsylvania, 1954-1961. Prior to his career in the chemistry department at Syracuse University, which began in 1962, Dr. Dittmer was a DuPont fellow, 1961-1962. He authored and co-authored more than 100 professional articles. Dr. Dittmer retired from Syracuse University May 2001 as professor of chemistry at which time he was appointed professor emeritus. In October of that year, a retirement dinner and "Dittmer Symposium" was held. He continued working with post-doctoral students and his research, specifically in the making of organic compounds without the use of solvents which are potentially environmentally harmful. He shall be remembered for his devotion to his students and to his teaching role ... and as a wonderful and sweet "Uncle Don" and brother. Survivors are his sister, Claire Myers of Quincy; a sister-in-law, Mrs. David Dittmer of Alexandria, Va.; nieces, Jane Myers McNamara (husband, Steve) of Fort Worth, Texas, Dohan Bell (husband, Joe) of Garmisch, Germany, Molly Dittmer Amadei of Pittsburgh, Pa.; and nephews, Rodney Myers (wife, Ann) of Huntsville, Ala., Joel Myers (wife, Mary Kate) of Fishers, Ind., and six great-nephews, and three great-nieces. Dr. Dittmer was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, David; and a brother-in-law, Robert H. Myers. SERVICES: Memorial services will be held at Hendrick's Chapel, Syracuse University. The date will be announced later. Inurnment will in Greenmount Cemetery, Quincy. MEMORIALS: May be sent in honor of Donald C. Dittmer to Syracuse University Chemistry, 111 College Place, Syracuse, N.Y. 13244 ARRANGEMENTS: Hansen-Spear Funeral Home, Quincy WEBSITE: www.hansenspear.com
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Published in Quincy Herald-Whig from Dec. 4 to Dec. 6, 2013