James J. Bohning
James J. Bohning
James J. Bohning, PhD, 77, of Bethlehem died Friday, September 2, 2011 at Chandler Hall Hospice, Newtown, PA. Born and raised in Cleveland, OH, he was the son of the late Theodore and Elta Metzger Bohning. After receiving degrees from Valparaiso University, NYU, and his PhD from Northeastern University, Dr. Bohning lived in Wilkes-Barre and taught at Wilkes University for over 30 years, serving as Chairman of both the Chemistry and Environmental Science departments during his tenure. After leaving Wilkes University he discovered a passion for the history of Chemistry, working for the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia, PA and privately for DOW Chemical interviewing and documenting the lives of Nobel laureates and leaders in their profession, as well as serving in the HIST Division of the American Chemical Society. Most recently Dr. Bohning was a Cesar Fellow at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA where he continued his pursuits in the history of chemistry. He loved reading, writing, trains, and the company of his children and grandchildren. Survivors: Dr. Bohning is survived by his three children, James Robert Bohning and his wife Lori of Modesto, CA, Dr. James Matthew Bohning and his wife Cathleen of Jamison, PA, and James Jonathan Bohning of Fairbanks, AK. He is also survived by his sister, Carol Podwils of Bend, OR and his four cherished grandchildren, Lily, Andrew, Olivia and Julia. Services: Services and interment will be privately held by his family. Contributions: If so desired, contributions in Dr. Bohnings memory may be made to the History Division of the American Chemical Society, 142B RAL, Box 34 Noyes Lab, 600 S. Mathews Avenue, Urbana-Champaign, IL 61801.
Published by Morning Call on Sep. 9, 2011.
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13 Entries
I miss him still. Our relationship began with great strain and ended with great admiration and friendship. A special trajectory. A grand man. An image to be remembered.
Jeffrey Seeman
October 8, 2020
Jim and I were colleagues at the "Beckman Center" (now the Chemical Heritage Foundation) from 1999 - 2003. I remember him as an energetic and dedicated member of the staff who took much pride in his oral history work, and as a gentleman.
Condolences to his family, his friends, and to others who will miss him but remember him with love.

Lawrence B. Friedman
Pelham, MA
September 16, 2011
Jim and I have been friends since the early 1980s. It was Jim who got me interested in the history of chemistry. We worked together on many HIST projects and my love of the history of chemistry is due to him. We shared another common interest; as railfans. Jim loved railroads, riding trains, and especially the railroads of Pennsylvania. I cannot call many of the people I know friends; but Jim was one of them. I will miss him.

John Sharkey
September 15, 2011
Jim was one of my very best friends. I will miss him terribly. I always looked forward to talking baseball with him at ACS meetings, not to mention the professional and personal discussions. Kimberly joins me in expressing our condolences. I can never forget that he traveled all the way from PA to my 60th birthday party in Boston. RIP, Jim.
Albert Kirsch
September 13, 2011
Hi Jim, I really miss you! But we have such great memories. Thanks for the nickel tour of Bethlehem and of yours and Ned's offices at Lehigh. All of the train stores we shopped in (yes, sometimes our lunch breaks did get a little extended). And it was wonderful working with you at ACS...glad I could help out with the espresso story. Tim and I are looking forward to seeing your garden railway in heaven once we get there. You are a terrific guy and will always be in our hearts. Hugs, Deb McLaughlin and Tim Sanders
September 13, 2011
Jim was knowledgeable, committed, staunch. He was central to the small group that labored hard to bring into being the Chemical Heritage Fondation. The launch and enduring success of CHF's oral history program is but one testament to his talent. As colleague,friend and historian, he will be greatly missed and his memory fondly saluted.
Arnold Thackray
September 11, 2011
I met Jim while serving as Sec/Treas of the History of Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society. He was very generous with his time and knowledge and helped me learn my job as well as kept me on my toes while doing it. I shall miss him.
Vera Mainz
September 10, 2011
Jim was a real Renaissance Man -- knowledgeable in many areas beyond the science in which he was educated. We in the local historical groups in Northampton County treasured his historical talks and his leadership in oral history, for he taught a lot of us novices the basics of doing responsible oral history. He was a friend in the richest sense of the word. We will keep him in our hearts and memories throughout our lives.
Linda and Ned Heindel
September 9, 2011
We are so sorry to hear of your Dad's loss. We will miss him greatly. He was a kind and very thoughtful person. We will miss his dependable character as he walked and greeted us on a daily basis.
September 9, 2011
My condolences to the entire Bohning family. Jim was a pleasure to work with and often spoke lovingly about his family. May he rest in peace.
Julie Scheller
September 9, 2011
Dear Bohning Family,
Jim's death is a great loss to us, both from a personal and work standpoint. Steve became a good friend of Jim's on their visits to doctors in the past year. Jane worked closely with Jim on the "Mudd in Your Eye" newsletter and sorely missed his help on our recent chemistry alumni newsletter.
We remember the good times and the laughs we had with Jim. Such an interesting, very knowledgeable man. Lehigh will also miss him greatly for his historical research.
Sincere condolences,
Jane and Steve Derbenwick
September 9, 2011
He was a great scholar and historian. We'll miss him at Lehigh.
Ilhan Citak
September 9, 2011
Kathy O'Neil
September 7, 2011
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