Riley O. Schaeffer Jr.
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Riley O. Schaeffer Jr.

Riley O.

Schaeffer Jr.,

age 90, passed away on April 15, 2018.

He is survived by his daughter Karen Schaeffer; daughters-in-law Brenda Schaeffer and Margaret "Maggie" Schaeffer; granddaughters Marissa Prescott and Megan Schaeffer; grandsons Joshuah Kusnerz, Alex Schaeffer and James Schaeffer and great-grandchildren, Nate Nelan-Schaeffer, Xander Prescott, Melody Schaeffer, Nora Schaeffer, and Andrew Schaeffer.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Marguerite (Peg); sons Riley Andrew (Andy) and Brian; daughter Megan and his brother John Schaeffer.

Riley was born in Michigan City, Indiana, on July 3, 1927 to Nellie Brown and Riley Schaeffer, Sr. He attended Isaac C. Elston Senior High School and then the University of Chicago. He received a Bachelor of Science in 1947 and a PhD in chemistry in 1949.

He and Peg Cummins married in Chicago, Illinois, in 1950. They had four children, Karen, Andy, Brian and Megan. They traveled extensively, living in Israel, England, Switzerland and Germany while on sabbatical. After his retirement, they lived in Boulder, Colorado and Flagstaff, Arizona. During that time, they traveled around the world, including to Australia, New Zealand, India, Russia, Africa, Central America and Europe. They vacationed for years in Mazatlan, Mexico, and many times family and friends would join them.

After Peg's passing, Riley moved back to Bloomington, Indiana, where they had spent a large part of their married life. Hobbies included continuing his chemistry research, rock-hounding, jewelry making, home wine making and reading.

Riley was a chemistry professor as well as Chairman of the Chemistry Department at various universities including Iowa State, Indiana University, University of Wyoming and University of New Mexico. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship and an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellowship. He belonged to Sigma Xi and the American Chemical Society, among other professional organizations. He was an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Britain and wrote many scientific articles and text books. His specialty was Inorganic Chemistry with an emphasis on Boron and crystals. Riley's lifetime of work greatly contributed to the chemistry community.

Riley will be greatly missed by family, friends and colleagues. Family members wish to thank all those who cared for Riley, especially the incredible people at Hearthstone Health Campus and Rosebud Retirement.

Cremation has taken place. As per his request, no services will be held. Riley's ashes will be spread by his family with his wife's in Colorado.

In memoriam of Riley Schaeffer, family members request donations be sent to the Riley Schaeffer Endowed Lectureship in Chemistry at the University of New Mexico, Chemistry Department of Indiana University, or a university of your choice.

The Funeral Chapel of Powell and Deckard, 3000 E. Third St. Bloomington, IN 47401 is handling arrangements.

Memories of Riley and condolences to the family may be made at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Albuquerque Journal on Apr. 19, 2018.
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