Homer James Hall, age 96, research chemist, information scientist, civic leader, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend died peacefully in his sleep at RiverWoods in Exeter, NH on April 26, 2008.
He was born December 12, 1911, in Uniontown, PA to the late Homer Maxwell Hall and Susan Arnold Newman. He lived most of his childhood in Marietta, Ohio. On a visit to Geneva Point Camp on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee in the summer of 1940 Homer met his future wife, Juliet McCarrell Leiper of Leonia, NJ. They were married on June 7, 1941. For the next 65 years Homer and Carrell lived in Cranford, NJ, where they raised a family of 5; in Westfield, NJ and in Exeter, NH. Their early summers were full with taking the family camping, where Dad shared his love of swimming, sailing, rowing, singing, dancing and star gazing. In the late 50’s they began spending their summers at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY. A time they truly cherished together.
Dr. Hall graduated from Marietta College in 1931. He earned his PhD in Chemistry from The Ohio State University in 1935. Homer was employed by ESSO Standard Oil of New Jersey for 41 years. During the World War II years he earned patents for the invention of detergent jet fuel. After retirement, he continued to work in the field of information science as a member of the Association of Information Science and Technology. At the time of his death he had been a member of the American Chemical Society for 74 years.
Combining his love of science with his deep commitment to the role of faith and religion in public life, Homer was an active lay leader in churches in New Jersey and New Hampshire. His love of music was a life long passion which he shared with Carrell: from going to the opera, to holding down the bass section in church choir, to singing in the car on family trips, to playing leading roles in musicals, to numerous choir tours to Europe with the Westfield Wesley Singers, and finally to his participation in the RiverWoods Choir and Barbershop Quartet up through the last weeks of his life.
Homer was a member of the Union Council of the Boy Scouts of America and enjoyed working with the young scouts as a merit badge counselor for coin and stamp collecting. He was well known for his mutton chop whiskers which he grew for the Cranford Historical Society’s Bicentennial Celebration. For over 10 years every 4th grader in town had a chance to meet him as he took them back through time dressed as Josiah Crane, the town founder. An avid amateur cartographer and genealogist, he lectured regularly on his findings with historical societies in New Jersey and New Hampshire on “Colonial Map Making in America.”
As life long lovers of travel and adventure, Homer and Carrell took their children on several bicycling adventures throughout Europe. Homer enjoyed being host father to many AFS and Rotary International exchange students.
Homer is survived by his son, Stephen Cory Hall and his wife Marion of Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA; his three daughters: Eleanor Leiper Hall and her husband Roger Hale of the Twin Cities, MN; Deborah Hall Sandler and her husband Jeffrey of So. Portland, ME; B. Welling Hall of Richmond, IN; by his seven grandchildren; sixteen great-grandchildren; and his 99 year old sister, Frances Hall King of Asheville, NC. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, David Arnold Hall; his wife, Juliet McCarrell Leiper Hall; and his brother, Newman Arnold Hall.
A celebration of the life of Homer J. Hall will be held at RiverWoods, 7 RiverWoods Drive, Exeter NH 03833 on June 9, 2008 at 10:00 AM.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to:
Amnesty International USA
5 Penn Plaza, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10001
phone: (212) 807-8400