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2400 Shafto Road
Tinton Falls, NJ 07712
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Dr. Philip Andrew Lefrancois

1917 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Dr.  Philip Andrew Lefrancois Obituary
Dr. Philip Andrew Lefrancois

AGE: 99 • Tinton Falls

Dr. Philip Andrew Lefrancois passed away on 6/28/17 at the age of 99 years old. He was born September 19, 1917 in San Francisco to Louis and Lucie Lefrancois. He attended Notre Dame des Victoire Grammar school, Sacred Heart high School and the University of San Francisco where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry in 1938. He received a graduate assistantship from Loyola University in Chicago where he earned a Masters Degree in Chemistry (1940). He continued on at Iowa State College as a graduate assistant from 1940 to 1944 receiving a PHD in inorganic chemistry with a minor in chemical engineering. He helped to teach chemistry to Army and Navy young men during those years while doing research in catalysis.

His industrial career started with M.W. Kellogg, a worldwide petroleum construction company, in their research laboratory in Jersey City, NJ. There he met Karin Moore Walsh, his bride and wife from June 30, 1945 till her death December 26, 2004. He worked as a research chemist, mostly in catalysis, until Kellogg moved to Houston, Texas in 1975, a total of 31 years earning some 35 patents. He was one of the first scientists to recognize the value of eta-alumina as the base for platinum catalysts in the petroleum hydro forming process.

Many years were devoted to the synthol process, the conversion of carbon monoxide and hydrogen to hydrocarbons. Along with others he developed a coal gasification process for the government using molten sodium carbonate, an almost universal solvent.

The remainder of his career culminated with Allied-Signal in Morristown, NJ when he retired in 1986. Research became varied doing process research in many areas principally protein synthesis, environmental water cleanups, TNT synthesis, silane from waste fluorosilicic acid and improvements in the synthesis of a navy fluorine compound, used as a barnacle preventive chemical.

He was a member of Sigma Xi, an honorary scientific society, the American Chemical Society, the Catalysis Society and Alpha Chi Sigma. He took pride in his Catholicism and his friendships with many intellectual and friendly people. Amen.

Philip and his wife are survived by his five children; Jeffrey Lefrancois, Valerie Pilewski, Christine Hultgren, Linda Ryan and Lynne Tillman. Four Grandchildren; Kathleen Fucito, Meridith Nelson, Rya Suissa and Kelly Ryan. Seven Great Grandchildren and a brother, Richard Lefrancois.

Karin and Phil lived in Cranford from 1952 - 2001 when they moved to Seabrook Village, Tinton Falls, NJ.

Visitation will be held on Saturday July 1, 2017 from 9:00am - 11:00am at Bongarzone Funeral Home, 2400 Shafto Rd, Tinton Falls. Funeral Mass will follow at 12noon at Holy Innocents Church in Neptune, NJ. The family requests in lieu of flowers that donations be made to Tomorrows Children's Fund, 30 Prospect Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601 or For online condolences, please visit
Published in Asbury Park Press on June 30, 2017
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