Dr. Robert Lyman Strong passed away peacefully on October 11, 2018, on Mercer Island, Washington. He was 90 years old.
Robert was born on May 30, 1928 in Hemet, California, the son of Horace and Beryl Strong. His family moved to Bakersfield, where he spent his formative years. Upon graduation from Bakersfield High, he joined the Army. After completing his service, Robert studied chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, pursued a doctorate at University of Wisconsin, Madison, and post-graduate studies in Canada. In 1992, Robert married Sylvia Judith Strong (Judith), relocating from Troy, New York to Newcastle, Washington. Robert and Judith enjoyed a remarkable relationship, filled with love, caring and companionship.
Dr. Strong was Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he taught for 37 years and chaired the Physical Chemistry Department. His scientific interests included understanding the nature of photochemical smog and processes that could lead to the very rapid daytime buildup of pollutants in the lower atmosphere. He was involved in establishing the course “Chemistry of the Environment” at RPI and taught parts of it for several years before retiring in 1992. In 2002, he co-authored the textbook, Chemistry of the Environment. He enjoyed canoeing, hiking and travelling with Judith in their motorhome.
Dr. Strong is survived by his wife, Judith, his son Stuart (Kristan Beck), daughter Sharon (Phil Bossart), daughter Julie Pflug (Bud), son Allan (Natalie), stepson Robert Chafetz, stepdaughter Lynne Chafetz (Brad Hampton), many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and his sister Betty Baldwin. He was predeceased by his first wife, Lillian Strong.
The family suggests remembrances to The Sierra Club or The Nature Conservancy.
A private graveside service will be held at Hillside Cemetery, Issaquah, followed by a gathering of family and friends, on Mercer Island. Friends are invited to sign the family’s online guestbook at www.Flintofts.com.