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Obituaries 8/11/10 | the Leader

Obituaries 8/11/10

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
By theleader

Grant Gill Smith


Grant Gill Smith, 88, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, wonderful uncle and chemist, passed away August 8, 2010, at his home in Logan, Utah as a result of natural causes.
Gill was born September 25, 1921, in Fielding, Utah to Joseph H. Smith and Bertha Jensen Smith. He graduated from Bear River High School (1939); received his B.A. in chemistry at the University of Utah (1943); and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of Minnesota
(1949).
Serving the war effort as a research chemist at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, interrupted his graduate studies. There, he and a colleague discovered a much faster method of analyzing the amount of uranium in the washings from the calutrons, cutting the time of the analyses from 8+ hours down to 45 minutes. This resulted in a significant reduction in the atomic waste created during World War II.
Following his work at Oak Ridge, TN, he returned to the University of Minn.
In the summer of 1946, while visiting family in Tremonton, Utah, he met his wife, Phyllis Cook, at a church service. He was attracted to this lovely BYU coed as she played the organ for the service. The following December 30, 1946, they were married in the Logan Temple. This began their wonderful 54 year marriage.
Following a year as an instructor of chemistry at U of M, he began his teaching and research career at Washington State College where he taught chemistry for 12 years and continued his teaching and research in organic chemistry at Utah State University for 29 years.
While at USU, he started the Summer Science Lecture series, which became very popular. This became very popular with the locals as well as out of town people. At the age of 61, he synthesized his studies of gas chromatography, mass spectroscopy and pyrolysis gas to begin a new field of study which culminated in winning the top prize in Lund, Sweden, at the 8th International Symposia on Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis.
As a life-long member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gill served as the first bishop of the Pullman, Washington Ward, as a stake mission president, stake executive secretary, gospel doctrine teacher for many years, as well as numerous other positions.
In his later years, he served as a temple worker. The influence of his unshakable faith and
strong personal example blessed not only his family, but also countless others.
Gill loved nature, particularly flowers and trees and just being outdoors. He and Phyllis took their family camping, hiking,, fishing, horseback riding. He and Phyllis traveled around the world. He taught all his children and many grandchildren how to ski. A sport he continued until he was 83 years old. Following the passing of his wife, Phyllis (1999), he married Julia McQuarry Burnham, June 25, 2003.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Phyllis, his parents, brothers, Ralph Jensen Smith, Joseph Harold Smith, Farren Day Smith, and sisters, Nona Rhead, Virginia Beal, and Alice Marie McFarland. He is survived by his wife, Julia, sister Beth Foxley Iverson (Lynn), and children Meredith (Norman) Ashton Ogden, Utah, Kathleen Phinney, Tacoma, WA, Vivienne (Crismon) Lewis, Gresham, Oregon, Geoffrey (Peggy) Smith, Logan, Utah, Randall (Norene) Smith, Farmington, Utah and Roger (Andrea) Smith, Hyde Park, Utah), 35 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren.

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