- July 14, 1927 - March 23, 2015
- Hammond, Louisiana
of George's Passing
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Memories & CandlesPrevious
“I first met George at the II. International Allelopathy Conference September 5-9, 1994, New Delhi, India. During this Conference, on September 5,...Read More »
1 of 14 | Posted by: S.S.Narwal Rohtak, Haryana, India
“Dr. Waller was a great scientist and excellent human being. May his Soul Rest in Peace!
2 of 14 | Posted by: Daizy Batish - Chandigarh, India
“I first met George at the International Allelopathy Society meeting in Cadiz, Spain. He was excited for the potential of the Society and...Read More »
3 of 14 | Posted by: Jeff Weidenhamer - Ashland, OH
“It was just once many years ago that I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Waller. Through decades of friendship with Becky, I came to know how...Read More »
4 of 14 | Posted by: Pat Hodnick - Redlands, CA
“Knowing George was a joy. He was certainly a highly respected colleague, whom we had known for many years. We also enjoyed being fellow members of...Read More »
5 of 14 | Posted by: Mary Lou & Harold Sare - OK
“Ron and I have fond memories of George and Hilda as members of our dinner group in Stillwater for over 30 years.
6 of 14 | Posted by: Julie Moomaw - Orkney Springs, VA
“I have vicariously been touched by and now celebrate the magnificent life of Dr. Waller via is most loving daughter, my dear friend, Rebecca. May...Read More »
7 of 14 | Posted by: Alphé Williams - New Orleans, LA
“sometimes there are no words for the sadness in our heart for you and your family. LOVE, TAD & PAM
8 of 14 | Posted by: Don & Pam Hoopet - Lawton, OK
“With sympathy and aloha
9 of 14 | Posted by: Liane Sing - Honolulu, HI
“My deepest respect and final greetings.
10 of 14 | Posted by: Ines Fritz - Vienna
“I personally want to send my prayer for this amazing man to have a glorious life beyond. I share enthusiasm, as he did, for natural medicine &...Read More »
11 of 14 | Posted by: Mary Frost - waveland, MS
“Rest in peace, Cousin. Now I'm the last one of our generation in the Phillips family. I was telling a friend about our visits to Warsaw and your...Read More »
12 of 14 | Posted by: Nancy & Charles Wood - NC
“We love you Grandpa! Thank you for your role model in our lives.
13 of 14 | Posted by: Amy Pan - Baton Rouge, LA
“Such a kind and noble man! May he rest in peace. Our thoughts are with George's family.
14 of 14 | Posted by: Harry & Cheri Hallwood
George R. Waller, Jr. Professor Emeritus
July 14, 1927 - March 23, 2015
Born in Clinton, NC July 14, 1927, to George Rozier Waller, Sr., and Lola Jane Phillips Waller, George became interested in chemistry due to an excellent teacher at Ben Lippen Boys School; an interest which later developed into his distinguished scientific career as an internationally recognized biochemist. As a young man, he raised Bantam chickens to earn money for his advanced schooling, and was a veteran of the US Navy serving during WWII. Pre-deceased in 2011 by his wife, Hilda Marie Lominac of Asheville, NC, in 1947, they were married for 64 years and are survived by 3 daughters.
George graduated in 1950 with his BS in Agricultural & Biological Chemistry from North Carolina State University, and received his MS in Chemistry from the University of Delaware in 1952. He began his career as a Research Chemist for Imperial Paper and Color Corporation in Glens Falls, New York.
In 1956 he joined the newly established Department of Biochemistry at Oklahoma State University as an assistant professor. He rapidly rose through the academic ranks, working on peanuts and representing OSU on pamphlets for food science & research; completing his PhD in Biochemistry in 1961 on Ricinine Biosynthesis, achieving the rank of full professor in 1967. He taught upper division and graduate courses for 32 years; published extensively; and was conferred the status of Professor Emeritus in 1987. By 1999, he had authored, co-authored and contributed to over 400 papers, books, journals, and bulletins, often collaborating with international colleagues.
Dr. Waller had an uncanny skill for recognizing and positioning himself at the forefront of significant developing areas of scientific advancements.
His preminent venture was introducing the Mass Spectrometer to the field of Biochemistry. In 1963, as a visiting professor on an NIH Fellowship in Stockholm, Sweden, at the Nobel Medical Institute with Hugo Theorell, Nobel Laureate, and Karolinska Institute, he assisted in the design of the LKB-9000 Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer prototype (GCMS) with Dr. Ragnar Ryhage, which was installed in the Waller lab in Stillwater at OSU in 1965. This instrument was used at OSU to carry out many of the pioneering studies in the U.S. on mass spectrometry including identification of natural compounds; it now resides at the Smithsonian Institution.
He authored a two volume series on Biochemical Applications of Mass Spectrometry for John Wiley & Sons in 1972, which stood as a textbook and noted authority on applications for mass spectrometry for many years following; and was founding editor in 1982 of Mass Spectrometry Reviews which continues today.
From 1969-1974, Waller was active in the establishment of the EPA as member of an unprecedented task force on growth with environmental quality, as President and Managing Director of the Midcontinent Environmental Center Association (MECA), at the same time serving as Assistant Director of the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station. Waller served the state of Oklahoma for developing research and educational programs promoting environmental quality for several years later.
In the late 1970's, his interests turned to phytochemicals and the emerging field of allelopathy and sustainable agriculture, where he became a pioneer in the field, and instrumental in founding the International Allelopathy Society, serving as the society's founder and president from 1994-1999.
Dr. Waller developed an international reputation for his outstanding contributions to various aspects of biosynthesis and biodegradation of certain alkaloids, flavor of roasted peanuts, aloe vera, allelopathy, saponins, and the biochemical applications of mass spectrometry.
Throughout his career, Dr. Waller secured numerous significant research support grants totaling over 2 million dollars. In 2001, he was awarded the Oklahoma Chemist Award in recognition for advancing chemistry in Oklahoma and a career with distinction. On the date of his retirement, Governor Bellmon issued a declaration from the State of Oklahoma recognizing George Waller Day.
Professor Waller was beloved and respected as the scientific 'father' of his many students and colleagues. His international acclaim is reflected in the many post-doctoral fellows and visiting professors, PhD and MS candidates from all over the world who came to work with him and in his laboratory. Dr. Waller's research and international collaborations extended far beyond his own research into the areas of saponins, antioxidants, and flavor chemistry, food science and technology, and he positively impacted the careers of numerous fellows and colleagues.
George was well traveled, having lived in Stockholm, Goteborg, London, Zurich, Prague, Tokyo, Taipai, and Taichung. He enjoyed collecting and sharing mementos of his travels, playing bridge, bowling, investment analysis, a local gourmet cooking group, and toasting with a good ale. He was passionate about coffee, essential oils and the properties of medicinal plants, photography and the recording of life events, and family genealogy. He was a devoted husband, loving father and grandfather.
He was preceded in death by his parents and wife. He is survived by Daughters: Anne Ramsby (Ted), Bradenton, FL; Rebecca Waller Gillan (Wynn), Hammond, LA; Catherine Waller Hoopert (Jerry), Broken Arrow, OK; and a loving family of numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A celebration of his life will be held at noon on Friday April 10"' at the First Presbyterian Church of Hammond, LA; New Orleans style and second line jazz processional; reception following.
A Memorial service will be held at 3 pm Monday, July 27, at the First Presbyterian Church of Stillwater, OK, followed by a celebration of George's life in a reception. Family visitation will be a 2 pm at the church, interment at Fairlawn Cemetery following the reception.
Memorial contributions may be made in memory of George Waller to the George R. and Hilda L. Waller Endowed Scholarship, c/o Oklahoma State University Foundation, PO Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076, or www.osugiving.com/search?query=waller .
Condolences may be made to the family by visiting www.harrymckneely.com