Barbara H. Weil
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Dr. Barbara H. Weil

Barbara H. Weil, age 92, passed away at Concordia at Sumner on August 16, 2018, after a long decline with Alzheimers.

She was born in Marion, Indiana, the child of Reba Hummel and Lawrence Hummel. She lost most of the vision of one eye to an infection in early childhood. Despite that handicap, she earned a scholarship to Franklin College in Indiana where she majored in Chemistry and got her B. S. degree. She then won a scholarship to University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) where in 1953 she got her Ph. D. in Organic Chemistry, as well as marrying Edward Weil who was a fellow chemistry student.

Her first employment after graduation was at Bell Aircraft in Niagara Falls where she did material science research for the Bell X1A supersonic airplane. She then did pioneering work for Union Carbide on one of the earliest systems for computerized information retrieval and published a technical article on this subject. Postponing her career for a few years, she became the mother of a son David (who now lives in Boulder, Colo.); and a daughter, Claudia (who now lives in Medford, N.J.). During Barbara's years at home during their childhood, she kept up her skills by doing abstracting of current literature for Chemical Abstracts.

Thereafter, she resumed her scientific literature career with positions in Yonkers and NYC. Barbara's very major accomplishment, as Director of Clinical Affairs at the NYC office of Lipha, a French pharmaceutical company, was to write all the FDA-required paperwork and advocate in Washington the FDA approval in the USA of the major antidiabetic drug metformin (glucophage). This very successful drug continues to save countless lives. Had Barbara not been able to argue for its safety, it might have been rejected by FDA bureaucrats who raised scientifically incorrect objections. Raising two successful children (leading to two very promising grandchildren, Sarah and Sophie) is her other big accomplishment.

Since retirement, Barbara has resided with her husband, Ed (to be near their grandchildren) in the Garden Apartments at Sumner on Ridgewood, now Concordia, in Copley, Ohio.

In accordance with her wishes, Barbara will be cremated and there will be no visitation. Her husband has entrusted arrangements with the Hummel Funeral Homes in Copley with a private ceremony. Flowers are not requested. Online condolences can be sent to Barbara's husband, eweil@nyu.edu.




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Published in Akron Beacon Journal on Aug. 19, 2018.
Memories & Condolences
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2 entries
August 27, 2018
I will always remember Barbara's fierce determination. Her accomplishments stand by themselves; knowing how much she had to overcome to keep going when most other people would have just retired makes them that much more amazing, And, of course, doing it while raising children.

Ed, Claudia and Dave, I'm so sorry you had to watch your brilliant wife/mother struggle with dementia. Hopefully, some young scientist will discover something truly effective and shepherd it through approval, as Barbara did with metformin.
Karen Briefer-Gose
August 27, 2018
Christmas Eve 2008
We will miss my mother very much. She was an amazing woman who overcame so much. She ended up succeeding in her long career, living for a while in NYC (a childhood dream) and having a devoted and loving family
Claudia Weil
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