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CONTACT: Beth L. Lorow
Renowned scientist and former Messiah College professor, Ray Crist, dies at age 105
GRANTHAM, Pa. (July 25, 2005) — Dr. Ray H. Crist, 105, former visiting professor of environmental science at Messiah College, passed away on Saturday, July 23, 2005, in Carlisle, Pa.
The grandson of a Civil War soldier, Ray Crist was born on March 8, 1900, on a farm in south central Pennsylvania, about a mile and a half from Messiah College. He graduated from Messiah Bible School (now Messiah College) in 1916 and entered Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., graduating in 1920. In 1926, Crist earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Columbia University, teaching there until 1941 when he joined four Nobel Prize winners on the Manhattan District Project to assist the U.S. in developing the atomic bomb. Crist served as director of the project in 1945.
In 1946, Crist moved to the private sector, working for more then 15 years at Union Carbide Chemical Company in West Virginia. Crist was a member of the American Chemical Society for more than 76 years, which is more than half the time the Society has been in existence. In the 1960s, Crist returned to teaching, first at Dickinson College until 1971 and then at Messiah College, where he remained until his retirement in 2004. Crist remained an active scholar and researcher in the field of bioremediation, a method that uses biological materials such as algae to remove heavy metal contaminants from water and soil, until his death. In 2000, Crist was featured in the PBS series, “The Living Century,” and in 2002 he was named “ America’s Oldest Worker” by Experience Works, the nation’s largest nonprofit provider of training and employment services for older workers.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 27, at Malpezzi Funeral Home, 8 Market Plaza Way, Mechanicsburg. There will be a viewing from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 26, at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Ray H. Crist Scholarship Fund, c/o Messiah College, Grantham, PA 17027. To view a complete obituary, visit www.pennlive.com/obits.
Messiah College, a private Christian college of the liberal and applied arts and sciences, enrolls more than 2,900 undergraduate students in 60 majors. Established in 1909, the primary campus is located in Grantham, Pa., near the state capital of Harrisburg. A satellite campus affiliated with Temple University is located in Philadelphia.
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ARTICLE DATE: MONDAY, JULY 24, 2005