C. Roland Eddy

C. Roland Eddy Chemist, Professor and Musician C. Roland Eddy, 98, passed away on February 12, 2013, at Meadowood Continuing Care Community in Worcester, PA. He was a research chemist for 31 years with the Eastern Regional Research Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (1941-1972). He introduced infrared spectrophotometry to this laboratory and discovered a series of new compounds, the 20-iso sapogenins, which significantly sped up the analysis of desert plants for conversion into cortisone, which is used to relieve inflammatory diseases. During WWII, when there was a drastic shortage of rubber, his research led to the development of an important ingredient for artificial rubber. He also worked on a project to assist in the development of clear apple juice. Dr. Eddy developed and managed the first computer center for the Department of Agriculture in the 1960's, and applied it to further chemical research in many projects. Concurrent with his full-time research work, he taught part time for 14 years at Temple University (1948-1951; 1954-1965), including courses in Thermodynamics and Electrochemistry. When he retired, he continued to teach physics and interdisciplinary sciences for another 14 years (1963-1977) at Beaver College (now Arcadia University), where he won a distinguished teaching award even though he was only a part time teacher. He was born on August 31, 1914, in Providence, Rhode Island, where he grew up with five brothers and sisters. He went to Brown University (1931-1935) for his Bachelor's in Science and obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois (Urbana) in 1938. While in Illinois, he met and married his wife, Margaret E. Hedgcock. They had four children, who they raised in the Abington school district in Pennsylvania. After 31 years of marriage, Margaret succumbed to breast cancer in 1971. In 1974, Roland married Helen Horton McCaa, who he met at Carmel Presbyterian Church. For the next 36 years, they shared their love of life together, including many overseas travels and her passion for watercolor painting and his passions for music, writing and the philosophy of science. In 1990, they moved into the new Meadowood Continuing Care Community, where they resided together until Helen passed away in 2011, at age 99. Along with Helen, he helped develop resident procedures, committees, the newsletter and the audio visual department, which Roland chaired for several years. Throughout his life, Roland loved music, playing the piano and the organ since he was a teenager, as well as writing several compositions of his own. He wrote his school song and his own wedding march, which was later used by other family members. He and Helen sang in the Meadowood chorus, and they continued to play piano and organ duets into their later years. He also loved to write and when he was 89, he published his book on the philosophy of science: Oceans of the Mind. Dr. Eddy is survived by his sister, Ethelyn, his brothers Clifton and Arthur; his four children, Elizabeth, William, Charles and Virginia; two step-children, David McCaa and Marian Thomas; and 12 grandchildren. A memorial service will be held for him at 2 pm on June 2nd at the Gwynedd Square Presbyterian Church, 837 Sumneytown Pike, Lansdale, PA 19446. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Meadowood Benevolence Fund, 3205 Skippack Pike, P.O. Box 670, Worcester, PA 19490. Condolences can be sent to his daughter Elizabeth Myers at 225 Mill Street, Moorestown, NJ, 08057.

Published in Montgomery Newspapers on Feb. 28, 2013