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John Ashley Weil
Professor Emeritus
Department of Chemistry
University of Saskatchewan

Dr. John Ashley Weil; son of the late Herbert and Elly Weil (nee Weiss), left us on 17 November 2010, after a period of hospitalization. He was born 15 March 1929 near Hamburg, Germany. He, his mother, and his brother Claude Weil, fled Europe during the Nazi regime and arrived in the United States in 1940. John did his early education in a one room schoolhouse in the Catskill region of New York State, and then moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he completed high school in 1945. That same year, John met Andrea (Andy) Moellenhoff, who in 1947 became his loving wife of almost 60 years. Their son, Stephen, was born in Chicago. John completed his doctorate in Chemical Physics at the University of Chicago in 1955, and then did a post-doctoral fellowship and taught at Princeton University, where daughter Elika was born. John was lured away to Argonne National Laboratory, near Chicago, where he worked on research for a dozen years, achieving the level of Senior Scientist. In 1971, he moved to the University of Saskatchewan to take up a tenured Professorship in Chemistry. In 1996, John formally retired from the University of Saskatchewan; but as Professor Emeritus, continued active research throughout the remainder of his life. John was known internationally for his work on electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. Several generations of students were trained in his laboratories and he loved teaching and being surrounded by young people. John collaborated heavily with various research groups around the world; and published hundreds of papers, numerous book chapters, an EPR-NMR computer program, and several editions of an EPR textbook. He lectured all over the world. Sabbatical years were spent in New Zealand, Oxford, Bethlehem (PA), Chicago, and Urbana (IL). John received many honors, including: NSERC Longevity Award (2004 and 1994), Gerhard Herzberg Award from the Spectroscopy Society of Canada (2000), Fellow of the International EPR Society (1998), Distinguished Researcher Award at the University of Saskatchewan (1996), Erskine Lecturer at the University of Canterbury, NZ (1987), Doctor of Science degree awarded by the University of Saskatchewan (1985), Thorvaldson Professor (1983-1988), and Fulbright Scholar (1967-1968). John passionately pursued outside interests in art, music, cultural aspects of quartz, stamp-collecting, skiing, collecting and writing about Inuit art, and travel. He enjoyed many of the spectacular places that the Earth has to offer. John was preceded in death by his wife Andrea and half brother, Frederick Weil. He is survived by his brother Claude Weil; sister-in-law Haydeh Weil; his two children, Stephen Weil and Elika Shapiro (James); four wonderful grandchildren, Naomi Saunderson (Mark), Sarah, Matthew, and Rachel Shapiro; and two great-grandchildren, Charlotte and Ellie Saunderson. He was truly blessed to find love and companionship with Jean Williamson in his later years. Dr. Weil was a dynamic, fascinating man, who will be much missed by family and friends throughout the world. In lieu of flowers, charitable donations to directly support the research of budding young scientists may be made to the University of Saskatchewan, Department of Chemistry ( ; contact person: Ronda Duke (306) 966-4655), with a notation that it is in memory of Dr. John A. Weil. The family has organized a memorial reception to honor John's life, on Wednesday December 29, 2010, 3-6 pm, at the Edwards Family Centre (333 4th Avenue North) in Saskatoon. Courtesy parking at Saskatoon Funeral Home. Memorial tributes will start at 4 p.m. All who knew John are invited to attend. Condolences may be sent to Arrangements entrusted to Saskatoon Funeral Home, 244-5577.

From the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, 24-Nov-2010

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