Paul Rodewald

Obituary of Paul Rodewald

Paul Gerhard Rodewald, Jr., 77, died peacefully on June 14, 2013 at his home in Pennington, NJ following a long battle with breast cancer. Born on May 15, 1936 in Pittsburgh, PA, he was the son of the late Paul Gerhard Rodewald and Lillian Young Rodewald. A forty-four year resident of Rocky Hill, NJ before moving to Pennington in 2007. Growing up in Pittsburgh, he graduated from Shady Side Academy in 1954. He received a B.A. in chemistry from Haverford College in 1958 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Pennsylvania State University in 1963. Paul retired from Exxon-Mobil Corporation in 1996 after a thirty-three year career as a petrochemist. He was awarded over sixty U.S. patents for his work on zeolite catalysts and other chemical processes to increase the efficiency of oil refining and maximize the extraction of preferred distillates from petroleum. He published his research with colleagues in leading scientific journals, including Science and Journal of the American Chemical Society. Those who knew Paul, remember him not only for his quiet and caring disposition, but also for his kind and generous nature towards others and his quick-witted sense of humor. Paul was a life-long admirer of the natural world. His interests were broad and included astronomy, natural history, flowers and insects. It was his love for birds, however, that is most memorable. Throughout his retirement Paul traveled to over fifty different countries across seven continents and amassed a "life list" of over seven thousand different bird species. Those travels and the seasonal comings and goings of birds surrounding his home were a great sense of enjoyment for him. He shared the joy of nature with his wife, children and grandchildren on numerous walks through the natural areas of New Jersey. He loved tennis and played both singles and doubles tennis for 35 years with a group of partners from the greater Princeton area. His tennis partners noted that when he came to the net you were in trouble. Even though his foot speed waned over time, his return service did not. If the ball was within reach it would come back, often with a spin. Paul is survived by his wife of 55 years, Adrienne Soost Rodewald of Pennington, NJ, whom he married on June 14, 1958; his two daughters and sons-in-law, Kristin Rodewald Dawson and Peter J. Dawson of Pennington, NJ and Jane Rodewald Burroughs and Peter J. O'Boyle of Dunmore, PA; his two sons and daughters-in-law, Paul Gerhard Rodewald III and Amanda D. Rodewald of Ithaca, NY and James S. Rodewald and Colleen M. Quinn of Easton, NY; a brother and sister-in-law William and Elizabeth Rodewald of Pittsburgh, PA; a sister and brother-in-law Louise and Fred Forni of Chappaqua, NY; a brother-in-law W. John Soost, and his wife, Joni of Lancaster, PA; his seven grandchildren for which he will always remain as "Poppie": Anna Dawson, Elizabeth and Emily Burroughs, Julia and Owen Rodewald, Liam and Molly Rodewald; two step grandchildren Logan and Katerina O'Boyle; and nine nieces and nephews. A memorial service will take place on Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. in All Saints' Church, 16 All Saints' Road, Princeton, NJ. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Paul's honor to any of the following organizations: Breast Cancer Resource Center YWCA Princeton YWCA Princeton 59 Paul Robeson Place Princeton, NJ 08540 D&R Greenway Land Trust One Preservation Place Princeton, NJ 08540 The Nature Conservancy Attn: Treasury (web/memorial giving) 4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100 Arlington, VA 22203 Arrangements are under the direction of the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton, NJ.
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