Charles "Chuck" Louis Braun

Charles Louis Braun, of Norwich died on July 22, 2018. He was Chuck to his family, colleagues, and friends. Born in Webster, South Dakota on June 4, 1937 to Myrene C. (Strand) and Louis F. Braun, Chuck was the oldest of four brothers. As a boy, he was particularly close to his brother David, with whom he perpetrated fantastic schemes and hijinks. Chuck was an Eagle Scout, one of ten selected to meet President Eisenhower for the Boy Scouts’ annual “Report to the Nation” in 1955. Chuck married his high school sweetheart Kathleen Louise (Brickel) Braun at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Rapid City, South Dakota on August 10, 1958.

From an early age, Chuck was an avid student of science. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 1959 and a doctoral degree in physical chemistry from the University of Minnesota in 1963. He served in the U.S. Army from 1963 to 1965, inspecting nuclear facilities at remote army bases. In 1965, Chuck accepted the position of Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Dartmouth College, moving with Kathy and their infant daughter Sarah Kathryn Braun to Hanover, New Hampshire. Their son David Charles was born in Hanover in 1967.

Professor Braun taught chemistry at Dartmouth for over forty years and maintained an active research program. Throughout his career, Professor Braun inspired and challenged students. He was respected and appreciated by generations of future doctors, researchers, and others he introduced to general and physical chemistry. Professor Braun achieved the position of Associate Professor in 1971, Full Professor in 1977, and Professor Emeritus in 2005. In 1986 he was recognized with the Distinguished Teaching Award by vote of the Dartmouth Senior class. He was also honored to receive the 1992 New Hampshire Professor of the Year Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. His research achievements included advances in understanding transient, high energy molecular states. Among his more accessible work, he published “Why is Water Blue?” which revealed that water owes its blueness to molecular vibrations, a virtually unique origin for color.

Chuck’s life revolved around the Chemistry Department. He undertook extended hiking trips with his colleagues throughout the White Mountains, including memorable climbs on Mount Adams in winter back when camping gear was army surplus. When the wind kicked up in summer, Chuck loved to windsurf on Lake Mascoma and he introduced many of his international visitors to the sport. Chuck and Kathy socialized with Dartmouth faculty and their families and hilarity generally ensued. The great tragedy of his life was the loss of his beautiful daughter Sarah on September 10, 2000 at the age of 35.

Professor Braun’s career was cut short by progression of multiple sclerosis. Dartmouth College and his wife Kathy went above and beyond in accommodating his increasing disability until he could no longer teach. He retired early in 2005. He adapted without complaint to his gradual loss of vision and mobility, enjoying the company of his family and his Chemistry Department friends, among them Professors Tom Spencer, Roger Soderberg, and David Lemal. His friends stuck with him through the advanced stages of his disease, visiting him to read history, share Dartmouth news, and discuss current events. Chuck Braun leaves behind his wife Kathy of Norwich; his son David with his wife Michele and their daughters Eleanor and Louisa of Montpelier; his brother David and his wife Ann of Lake Elmo, MN; his brother Wayne and his wife Susie of Rapid City; his brother Warren and his wife Stefani of Rapid City; dedicated caregivers who supported him for years, particularly Crystal Hawkins and Jamie Corliss; his colleagues; friends; and generations of students who benefited from his instruction and counsel.

A memorial celebration of Chuck’s life will be held at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Hanover on September 22 at 10:00 a.m., followed immediately by interment of his ashes at the Hillside Cemetery in Norwich. Contributions in his memory may be made to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England or the charity of your choice.


Robert Bruno Alexander Naumann (1929 - 2014)

Norwich, VT - Robert Bruno Alexander Naumann, 85.5 years old, succumbed to Parkinson’s Disease at Hanover (N.H.) Terrace on Wednesday morning, Dec. 10, 2014. Bob was born on June 7, 1929 in Dresden, Germany, the son of Eberhard Bruno and Elsa (Haege) Naumann zu Koenigsbrueck. Given his parents’ divorce and WWII, Bob attended schools far and wide: the Browning School in New York City; the Cranbrook School and the Scots College in Sydney, Australia; the University of California in Berkeley. After his Jan.-1949 UC graduation, accented with Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi keys, Bob entered Princeton University’s graduate program in Physical Chemistry, a field, engrossing him since early boyhood. In 1953 with a Ph.D. in Chemistry, a fresh US naturalization certificate and a new ham-radio license (W2FNY) Bob chose not leave Princeton. Instead he remained for a 39-year career as the university’s only joint Professor of Chemistry and Physics. While there he taught hundreds of undergrad and graduate students, plus Albert Einstein! On an April 1, 1955 home-visit he and N.Y.U. Prof. Henry Stroke answered atomic-clock questions, long puzzling Einstein.

Robert M. Ross (1917-2009)

Bob Ross, longtime department Chemical Hygiene Officer and Adjunct Professor, died on June 26, 2009. Bob's interests in NMR spectroscopy and the interface between chemistry and biology will be remembered; our NMR lab bears his name, as does the successful and ongoing Robert M. and Martha W. Ross Lectures series.

Paul S. Veale (1951-2009)

Paul Sylvernuse Veale Jr. professor and senior lecturer of organic chemistry died on May 28, 2009. Born in Chicopee, MA and raised in Springfield, MA, Paul called many places home in his lifetime. A graduate of Cathedral High School 1969, Paul started his college education at Assumption College; transferring after two years and graduating from Loyola University, LA with a degree in chemistry. Paul's Masters Degree was awarded to him by Mt. Holyoke College South Hadley, MA. After several years in private industry working for Nashua Corp. Nashua, N.H. and Pfizer Corp. in Groton, CT, Paul responded to a strong desire to help people by joining the Peace Corp. He spent two years in a remote village in Papau, New Guinea. Upon returning to the U.S. Paul attended George Washington University, Washington D.C. where he received his doctorate. Paul began his college teaching career at Wellesley College, followed by  his position here at Dartmouth.

Dr. Walter H. Stockmayer (1914-2004)

Walter H. Stockmayer, 90, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry Emeritus at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, died at his home in Norwich, VT, on May 9, 2004. Professor Stockmayer was an internationally known chemist and university teacher for 67 years. He is widely recognized as one of the pioneers in polymer science in the twentieth century. His specific interest was in theory and experiment for the structure and dynamics of polymer molecules, including various uses of the light scattering method.

Growing up in Rutherford, NJ, he graduated from Rutherford High School and received an S.B. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1935, where he served as class President. He won a Rhodes scholarship and attended Jesus College of Oxford University (UK) from 1935 to 1937, earning a B.Sc. He returned to MIT, earning his Ph.D. in Chemistry under J. A. Beattie in 1940. During World War II, he contributed to classified war research projects while at Columbia University. He returned again to the MIT faculty after the war, earning a Full Professorship in 1952. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1956.