Frank O. Ellison, emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, died in Brighton, Michigan, of complications from Alzheimer’s on January 12, 2018. He was 91 years old.
Born on June 18, 1926, raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Frank attended Creighton University immediately after graduating from high school. He was drafted in November 1944, and served in Germany as part of the army occupation. He also served as an instructor of a chemistry laboratory at Weihenstephan Agricultural and Technical School in Freising, Germany.
After his discharge, Frank returned to Creighton University, and earned a B.S. degree. In 1953, he received his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Iowa State University. He joined the Chemistry Department at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon University) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and later moved to the University of Pittsburgh, where he worked until retirement in 1988. One of Frank’s major professional achievements was the development and application of “Diatomics-in-Molecules Theory.” He had 69 publications.
While at Carnegie Tech, Frank met and married Jody Lowe, who at the time was an Assistant Professor in the science department at Margaret Morrison College. Together they raised two children. Frank was active in his community, serving as an elected member of the Churchill Borough Council from 1982 to 1997. After retirement in 1988, he researched his Swedish genealogy, tracing his family back to the 1400's. Frank and Jody moved to Brighton, Michigan, in 2004.
Frank is survived by his son Jim (Tracy) Ellison, daughter Kathe (Charles) James, and four grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife Jody, who died in 2008 of ALS.
The family will be receiving friends on Wednesday, January 17, from 2:00 – 4:00 P.M. at Keehn Funeral Home, Brighton. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, www.alzfdn.org.