Hector Oman McDonald (1930-2010)

Professor Emeritus of Chemistry

September 4, 1930 – July 18, 2010

A.B. Chemistry 1952,  Central Methodist College, Fayette, MO

M.S. Chemistry 1954,  Alabama Polytechnic Institute, Auburn, AL

Ph.D. Chemistry 1960, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR


Hector Oman McDonald of Rolla, Missouri passed away on Sunday, July 18, 2010 at the SSM St. Clare Hospital in Fenton, Missouri. Hector McDonald was 79 years, 10 months, and 14 days of age.

Hector McDonald was born on September 4, 1930 at Casper, Wyoming to James Edward and Thelma (Oman) McDonald. He was united in marriage to Rosella Fay Cole on September 14, 1952 at the Central Methodist Church in Sedalia, Missouri. They were married for 57 years.

Dr. McDonald attended Central Methodist College and received an A.B. degree in chemistry in 1952.  Following graduation, he worked for a short time as a technician at International Milling Co., Kansas City, MO.  He then began his studies at Alabama Polytechnic Institute where he worked as a graduate assistant and obtained an M.S. degree in chemistry in 1954.  From 1954 – 1955 he was a control chemist at Southern Cotton Oil Company.  He then enrolled at the University of Arkansas, where he worked as a graduate assistant and received his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1960.

Dr. McDonald then joined the faculty of West Texas State as an Assistant Professor and left there as an Associate Professor in 1963.  During that time he was also a visiting Associate Professor for two summers at Louisiana State University.  He joined the faculty at Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy in 1963 as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and advanced through the ranks to Professor in 1986.  He served the chemistry department at various times as division chairman for physical chemistry, division chairman for inorganic and nuclear chemistry, freshman chemistry coordinator, and chemistry transfer student advisor.  He retired as Professor Emeritus in 1992.

Dr. McDonald also worked as a research chemist at the U.S. Bureau of Mines in Rolla in the 1970’s until they closed.  In 2003, he received an award for 50 years of membership in the American Chemical Society (ACS).  Dr. McDonald served one-year terms as treasurer of the Pan Handle Plains Section and the South Central Missouri Section of the ACS and one term as Chairman of the South Central Missouri Section.  He was also a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry.  

Dr. McDonald was a Deacon at the First Baptist Church in Rolla, and was still teaching Sunday school class at the time of his death.  He was in the Boys Scout for many years and was awarded the Vigil Honor. He was also a member of the Optimist Club and the Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity. His hobbies were reading books, working on the computer, fishing, collecting stamps and Charles Schulz Peanuts memorabilia, and he loved his three dogs.

Preceding Dr. McDonald in death are his parents James Edward and Thelma (Oman) McDonald.

Dr. McDonald is survived by his wife Rosella Fay (Cole) McDonald of the home in Rolla; one son Stephen Lee McDonald and wife Kimberly of Tyler, Texas; one daughter Marsha Pounds and husband George of Rolla; three grandchildren Kelly Robinson, Christopher Robinson and Hanna Rose McDonald; along with many friends, and extended family. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

We request that this Memorial Resolution be incorporated into the official minutes of the Missouri S&T Faculty Meeting of December 7, 2010, and a copy be presented to his wife and children.


Respectfully submitted,

The Faculty of the Department of Chemistry                      

Philip D. Whitefield, Chair

View the Memorial Resolution here as PDF.  The Memorial Resolution was part of the General Faculty Meeting Minutes, Nov. 29, 2010.