Wallace Hutchinson McCurdy, Jr., Ph.D.
November 16, 1926 – November 20, 2013
Dr. Wallace Hutchinson McCurdy, Jr., a 54 year resident of Newark, DE, passed away peacefully Wednesday morning, November 20, 2013. He recently celebrated his 87th birthday.
He was born in Pittsburgh, PA, on November 16, 1926, to the late Wallace Hutchinson and Martha Elizabeth (Rainey) McCurdy of Crafton, PA.
Wallace graduated from Crafton High School in 1944 with the “scientific diploma,” and from Penn State College with a B.S. in Chemistry in 1947. He obtained a M.S. (1948) and Ph.D. (1951) in Chemistry from the University of Illinois and then pursued research and teaching at Princeton University. Through singing in a local church choir, he met and subsequently married Nancy Spicer on September 4, 1954. In 1959, they moved with their three children to Newark, DE where Wallace joined the faculty of the Chemistry Department at the University of Delaware. He retired from the University in 1992.
Wallace devoted himself to community service. He was president and founding board member of the Newark Day Nursery (1961), was active in the anti-war and environmental movements, was a tutor at West Park Elementary school, and supported the Delaware Science Olympiad.
Wallace enjoyed gardening, singing, biking, sailing, family road trips, and local Newark history. He was an avid story-teller with an incredible memory for detail. He was a member of the American Chestnut Foundation, the American Chemical Society, the Elk River Yacht Club, the Delaware Academy of Science, Pacem in Terris, Eastern Electrical Vehicle Club, Northern Delaware Oratorio Society, and The United Church of Christ.
He is survived by his wife Nancy McCurdy; children, Laurie McKelvie and husband Bill of Shippensburg, PA, Martha McCurdy and husband Peter van Kan of Madison Wisconsin, and Alan McCurdy and wife Linda of Johns Creek, GA; brother, Dudley McCurdy and wife Jane of Saratoga, CA. He was the proud grandfather of 7 grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 3 pm on Tuesday, November 26, 2013, at the New Ark United Church of Christ, 300 E. Main Street, Newark, DE. A reception will follow.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Newark Day Nursery Scholarship Fund, 921 Barksdale Road, Newark, DE 19711.