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College of Chemistry

2003 News Index
 

Professor James Cason
1912-2003

Emeritus Professor James Cason passes away

James Cason, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, died Monday, November 3. He was born August 30, 1912, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and had been a Berkeley resident since 1945.

Cason earned an A.B. from Vanderbilt University in 1934, and went on to receive an M.S. from Berkeley (1935) and a Ph.D. from Yale (1938), both in organic chemistry. He was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship to Harvard and worked with the National Defense Research Committee under the direction of Louis Fieser during World War II. He taught at DePauw University (1940-41) and at Vanderbilt University (1941-45) before joining the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1945.

For almost four decades Cason taught organic chemistry at Berkeley, where he served as Dean of the College of Chemistry from 1955-56. He authored four college textbooks on organic chemistry and published more than a hundred articles in major scientific journals.

Cason retired from the University of California in 1983. For the past twenty years, he and his wife, Rebecca, split their time between their home in the Berkeley hills and their old-growth redwood property, named "Camelot," near Garberville. For a number of years, the Casons operated a profitable 75-acre almond orchard in the Central Valley.

Cason is survived by his wife of 68 years, Rebecca Marsden Cason; sons Roger of Nathrop, Colorado and Mardy of Boston, Massachusetts; grandsons David, Sean, Regan and Jason; a granddaughter, Kristen; and a greatgranddaughter, Paige. A memorial service will be held on the Berkeley campus at a later time.

by Dean Clayton Heathcock


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