ITHACA, N.Y. - Paul Raymond Jones was born on July 19, 1930 in Chicago to David Henry and Una Goodrich Jones. He passed away on Thursday, January 3, 2019 after a period of declining health.
He grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois and spent several happy summers working on his brother's ranch in South Dakota. Paul received his BA from Albion College, his PhD from the University of Illinois, and went on to a career as Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of New Hampshire from 1956-1995. Four different sabbaticals found him in Germany: at the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen (1964), at the University of Freiburg (1973), and twice at the Deutsches Museum in Munich (1982 & 1991). He was a two-time recipient of Fulbright fellowships and won UNH's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1982. Paul served as the editor of the Bulletin for the History of Chemistry from 1995-2010.
Though an accomplished researcher, Paul's true gift was teaching. Generations of students and colleagues have commented on his ability to connect and give his full attention to their struggles and their joys. Even in very large lecture classes, he knew all his students by name and always made himself available.
Paul married Meredyth Manns in 1958 and together they savored 60 years: singing together, entertaining friends, raising their family in Durham, New Hampshire, and traveling extensively in Europe. Paul always wanted to return to the Midwest, so after retirement they moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where they relished superb musical performances, friends, and new experiences for another 18 years until moving closer to family in Ithaca, N.Y., in 2013.
When not pondering the double helix or the history of chemistry, Paul could be found tending his gardens, (especially his peonies and nasturtiums), reading voraciously, (especially the New York Times), savoring a strong cup of coffee, going to art museums, and upholding the integrity of the Oxford comma. His civility and thoughtfulness were legendary.
More than anything, Paul loved his family, and lived for updates on everything they were doing. In addition to his wife, he leaves his son Paul (Claire) in Aspen, Colorado; his daughter Amy Robinson (Brad) in Brentwood, New Hampshire; his daughter Sarah Cummings (Craig) in Ithaca, New York; grandchildren Naomi (Stephen), Obadiah (Orian), Talitha, Hannah (Kai), Silas (Rae), Owen and Anna, and great-grandchild, Eva. He also leaves several nephews and nieces.
SERVICES: A celebration of Paul's life will be held on Saturday, March 23, at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Ithaca, New York (315 North Cayuga Street).
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a scholarship fund in Paul's name to support undergraduate students majoring in chemistry at UNH. Checks should be made out to the University of New Hampshire Foundation, with "in memory of Dr. Jones" written in the memo line and sent to: UNH Foundation, 9 Edgewood Rd., Durham NH 03824. All donations are tax-deductible.
Published in Foster's Daily Democrat from Jan. 9 to Jan. 12, 2019.