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Kenneth E. McCulloh
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Service: Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 11:00 AM
Location: Guild Chapel at Asbury Methodist Village, Gaithersburg, MD

Kenneth Everett McCulloh was born on a farm near Morrison, Illinois, on June 25, 1922, the younger son of Archibald Scott McCulloh and Abigail (Sider) McCulloh. He was graduated cum laude in chemistry from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA, in absentia, in 1944 while attending Army Infantry Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, GA.

Upon receiving his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant, he was deployed to the European Theater of Operations of World War II.  He saw combat in the Battle of the Bulge and was wounded in action at the Remagen Bridgehead in March 1945, and was retired for disability as a 1st Lieutenant in October, 1945.

While on terminal leave from the army Ken enrolled in the Graduate College of the State University of Iowa in the Fall of 1945 and pursued a course of study toward a Ph.D. in physical chemistry.   At the University of Iowa he met Sylva Haworth. They were married December 27, 1949.

He received a Ph.D. degree in 1951. His dissertation was on the emission spectrum of isotopically enriched carbon monoxide. Continuing on the chemistry faculty, he taught courses in physical and analytical chemistry.

In 1955, his family (including Sylva and their son, David) moved to the Washington metropolitan area, and he began work at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) where he was a research scientist (mass spectrometrist).   Ken and Sylva bought a home in Bethesda, MD where they lived for the next 5 decades.  During this extended period, he and Sylva raised their son and welcomed a daughter, Virginia. 

At the NBS, Ken designed and built his own photo ionization mass spectrometer with which he characterized the energy required to excite electrons surrounding diatomic gas molecules to higher energy levels.  He continued this work for the next 30 years.  Throughout this period, he published numerous papers in refereed professional journals and was awarded 3 Presidential Citations honoring him for his scientific work.  He preferred not to seek acknowledgement for his work, but was consistently sought out by his peers who thought of him as �a scientist�s scientist� so they could rely on his facility with physical chemistry, mathematics, computer programming and statistics.

He served as the Secretary for his professional organization, the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS).  In addition to his service to the ASMS, he also served his church (Bethesda United Methodist Church) as a member of both the Pastor Parish Relations Committee and the Finance Committee.  For both church committees he also served as the chair for one year each.

To Ken, family was always a priority.  He actively participated and supported his children�s athletic and academic pursuits as well as his wife�s musical endeavors.  He loved to vacation at the cottage he and Sylva built on Lake Pennesseewassee in Norway, Maine. 

Throughout his life, he was an avid photographer. A number of his black and white photographs, many of rocks, trees and waterfalls in Maine won awards in photo competitions especially at the North Bethesda Camera Club.

In his retirement, Ken enjoyed studying the philosophy of religion, spending time with his children and grandchildren, watching college football and the Redskins, and travel. 

 

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