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Vernon Duane Neff Obituary


Memories & Candles

“Dr. Neff was a very kind and helpful person. He was never to busy to answer a question, clear up a difficult concept, or discuss research problems. I...Read More »
1 of 6 | Posted by: Byron K. Leles - AL

“I am so sorry to learn of Dr. Neff's passing. He was my advisor 20 yrs ago and I loved him. He was the most genuine and nicest person ever and could...Read More »
2 of 6 | Posted by: Tony Xidis - Steubenville, OH

“I am doing research in the history of Prussian Blue. Dr. Neff is one of the main figues in the long and interesting history of that substance. In his...Read More »
3 of 6 | Posted by: Alexander Kraft - Berlin, Germany

“Vern, we shared triumphs and set-backs over the years... vociferously dealt with both at work, at lunch, on park trails, the water and a shot of...Read More »
4 of 6 | Posted by: Derry Fishel - Tallmadge, OH

“Dr. Neff and I worked together for several years in the Chemistry Department. He was great to work with. We had a lot of nice talks about our...Read More »
5 of 6 | Posted by: Arla Dee McPherson - Kent, OH

“The first thing I remember about meeting Vern is his friendliness and he called me "doll" There are so many funny and memorable events that there...Read More »
6 of 6 | Posted by: Roger and Christina Gilpin - OH


Vernon Duane Neff, 80, of Kent, passed July 6, 2013, peacefully at home surrounded by family.

Born September 16, 1932 in Rochester, NY, he was the son of the late Paul Vernon Neff and Esther Louise Isemann Neff, formerly of Perry, NY.

Dr. Neff achieved a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Syracuse University. After completing a four year term in the U.S. Army as a Physical Chemist, he and his family moved to Cuyahoga Falls, where he did research in Molecular Spectroscopy for General Tire and Rubber Company. The realization that research and teaching were his true passion, he took a position at Kent State University as a Professor of Chemistry, where he retired in 1993.

He was a trail blazer and rebel rouser on many occasions. The students that were lucky enough to have him as a professor knew his greatest gift in life was his love of teaching and his passion to help any individual to learn, no matter what level that may have been. He received the Distinguished Teacher Award from Kent State University. He was instrumental in the development of liquid crystal display technology. He published 24 articles on his scholarly research, mostly in the field of electrochemistry of Prussian Blue. He was a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, Cleveland Free Flight Society, American Chemical Society, Sigma Xi, and a longtime member of the Cleveland Ecophilia Club.

He had an interest in boating and flying, evident in his retirement, as he built a replica of a 1958 Chris Craft in his garage that was christened in Lake Erie. He greatly enjoyed the hobby and challenge of building and flying model airplanes designed to test the limits of very light weight construction and endurance.

He is survived by the first love of his life, Carol Erion Hill Neff, whom he married to on January 29, 1955; children, Paul V Neff of Winter Park FL, Andrew C. Neff of Stow, and Karen J. Neff Patterson of Kent; grandchildren, Jessica Mathes, Danielle Neff, Amanda Patterson, Stephanie Lynn Rollyson, Stephanie Marie Neff, Ashleigh Neff, and Austin Neff; great-grandchildren, Wyatt & Ryleigh Mathes, Tristan & Trenton Neff, and Owen Rollyson,brother Gordon Neff of Boston MA; and sister, Pat Neff Vickers of Williston ND. He was preceded in death by his eldest son, Steven Tyler Neff, formerly of Pembroke GA.

He was a very educated but simple man and his wishes were to celebrate life and all it had to offer with each and every day.

Please join us in a Celebration of Vernon's life and accomplishments from 4-8 PM on September 13, 2013, at Pine Tree Lodge at Wingfoot State Park, 993 Goodyear Park Blvd., Suffield OH44260.. For details call 330-256-3405 or e-mail kjpatter57@yahoo.com.