Obituary: Charles DePuy

By Staff

Charles H. DePuy, Ph.D., of Boulder, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Colorado Boulder, died March 14, 2013, at Frasier Meadows Manor Health Care Center. He was 85.

A celebration of his life will be at 1 p.m. Sunday at Chautauqua Community House, 900 Baseline Road, Boulder.

He was born in Detroit on Sept. 10, 1927, to Carroll E. and Helen (Plehn) DePuy. He married Eleanor Burch on Dec. 21, 1949, in Ventnor, N.J. He graduated from Yale University in 1953 with a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry. After a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA, he joined the faculty of Iowa State University. In 1964, he became professor of chemistry at the University of Colorado and retired in 1992.

He was a pioneer in the area of gas phase organic ion chemistry, which has fundamental importance and relevance to many fields. He presented lectures throughout the world on his groundbreaking research. He is a highly cited author and published more than 200 research papers.

DePuy was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, American Chemical Society, American Academy for Advancement of Science and the American Society for Mass Spectrometry. He received many honors and awards throughout his illustrious career. He was awarded Alfred Sloan, Guggenheim, NIH and Alexander von Humboldt Fellowships. He was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He received the Colorado Section ACS Gold Medallion Award, and the James Flack Norris Award of the American Chemical Society.

He will be remembered for his wonderful chemical insights, his enormous dedication to education and his enjoyment of life. Many students, postdoctoral scholars and colleagues have been enriched by his science and his friendship.

He is survived by his wife, Eleanor DePuy; sons David DePuy (Joan) of Longmont and Stephen DePuy (Teri) of Niwot; daughters Nancy DePuy of Boulder and Katherine Hall (Richard) of Boulder; and six grandchildren. Donations: In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Norlin Library Foundation or the CU Music Department c/o CU-Foundation, 4740 Walnut St., Boulder, CO 80301. Please share thoughts, memories and condolences at