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Paul Stephen Farrington

Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus

UC Los Angeles

1919 - 2006


Paul Farrington, emeritus professor of chemistry, passed away in Albuquerque, New Mexico on May 20, 2006 at the age of 87. Paul, who was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, attended the California Institute of Technology, where he earned his B.S. degree in chemistry, M.S. degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering, and his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry. During World War II, he participated in a chemical warfare project in the Florida Everglades. He began his teaching career at UCLA in 1950 and carried out research in analytical chemistry. His interests included ion exchange and gas chromatography, and he contributed to the foundation of some technologies that are widely used today. He was honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship to carry out research in Stuttgart, Germany in 1958-59.


Paul was strongly committed to improving the teaching of chemistry in high schools and junior colleges. In 1956 he established a summer refresher chemistry course for high school teachers that was funded initially by Monsanto Corporation and later by grants from the National Science Foundation. Paul’s excellence as a classroom teacher was recognized by the receipt of a UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award in 1964. He served on many statewide committees addressing educational policies, high potential student programs, junior colleges, and student admission policies.


From 1962 to 1982 Paul served as an associate dean of the College of Letters and Science, where he was responsible for dealing with students who had academic problems at the university. He counseled them about the steps necessary to remain at UCLA or assisted them in transfers to more suitable programs at other institutions. He had a strong desire to guide students toward completion of a degree and later success in life. Paul retired in 1989.


Paul was an excellent mentor and a patient teacher in his personal as well as professional life and gave generously of his time to his family. He enjoyed music and played the violin as a child, later taking up voice. He had a theatrical streak, participating in both music and drama as a Cal Tech student. Paul served in many churches as a choir member in the baritone section and at times as an elder. During his years in New Mexico, he served on several committees in his retirement community. His kindness and contagious humor made him a much-loved figure among his family, students, colleagues and neighbors throughout his life.


He was preceded in death in 1976 by his first wife, Barbara and is survived and deeply missed by his second wife, Dana, his five children, and his six grandchildren.



Charles M. Knobler

Robert L. Scott