|Remembering Roland Severson|
Roland George Severson, retired chemistry professor emeritus, died Aug. 3 in West Chester, Ohio. He was 83.
Severson, the son of Elmer and Augusta Severson, was born April 1, 1924 in Malta, Mont. He spent his boyhood summers in Glacier National Park, beginning his lifelong love of the outdoors. He loved hunting, fishing, camping and rock hunting with his family and friends. His lapidary skills included faceeting gems as well as cutting and polishing stones, especially Montana agates, which he enjoyed making into jewelry for his family. He married Matilda (Mattie) Maris from Roundup, Mont., on Jan. 12, 1945.
He graduated from Malta High School in 1941, obtained a B.S. in chemistry from Montana State University in 1945 and the M.S. (1948) and Ph.D. (1950) degrees in chemistry from Purdue University. He was an outstanding chemistry educator at UND for 38 years, serving as department chair for 28 years. Severson was instrumental in developing UND's Ph.D. program in chemistry and played a leading role in developing the facilities for advanced teaching and research in the chemistry department. In addition to his teaching and administrative duties, his research investigated organosilicon chemistry with particular emphasis on the synthesis and properties of carbon-functional silanes, cyclic organosilanes and unsaturated silicon systems. He retired in 1988 as a professor emeritus.
After 52 years of marriage, his wife Mattie preceded him in death in 1997.
He is survived by his four children: Ruth J. Haug, Starkville, Miss., Roland G. Severson Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio, Mary Severson, Suwanee, Ga., and Sarah Snow, Sanford, Mich., their spouses, 12 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.
The Roland G. Severson Chemistry Award Endowment was established by his wife, family and friends in his honor after his retirement. The endowment provides for an annual award to an outstanding graduate student. Memorials can be sent to UND Foundation, c/o Roland G. Severson Chemistry Award, 3100 Unviersity Ave., Stop 8157, Grand Forks, ND 58202-8157.