John E. DeVries
1919 - 2019
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John E. DeVries
Palo Alto
October 4, 1919 - July 1, 2019
John was born and raised in Newton, Illinois. He grew up working in his family's country store alongside his parents, Eva and Jacob, and his brother and three sisters.
In Newton, he attended a one room school for his elementary years. After graduation from Erie High School in Illinois, he attended Hope College and graduated with a degree in Chemistry. He received his Phd in Chemistry at the University of Illinois.
His career started at the University of Chicago, where he worked on the Manhattan Project. His career continued with a professorship at Kansas State University, research at China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station and at Stanford Research Institute. He concluded his professional career as a professor of Chemistry at California State University, Hayward. In addition, he taught many summer quarters at Stanford, UC Davis, and Cal.
In retirement, he led a cottage industry that built small solar panels for Recording Ministries. The panels powered tape recorders and medical equipment in underdeveloped countries.
He is survived by his wife of 73 years, Ruth, his daughters Donna (Jim) Atman, Jeanne (Craig) Viau, grandchildren Brian Atman, Kristin (Kyle) Smith, Jennifer (Doug) Stewart, Kyle (Tina) Viau, Kevin (Tati) Viau, and eight great grandchildren.
A family celebration of his life will be held at a later date.


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Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Aug. 4, 2019.
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