Donald Kleinfelter, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Tennessee (UT), died peacefully June 4, 2019. He was 84.
Kleinfelter graduated from Gettysburg College in 1956. In 1960 he earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Princeton. For 36 years he taught general and organic chemistry at UT, including 24 years as part of an innovative program taught through closed-circuit TV. He used his humor and short sketches to hold the interest of students.
In 1981, he received the UT Alumni Teaching Award. He co-authored the textbook General College Chemistry (Harper & Row). One of his doctoral students wrote in the introduction of his dissertation that Kleinfelter “has expertly led many through the tangled, despairing labyrinth that is known as research with a cheerful countenance and a reliant confidence that never fails to bolster one’s own self-confidence.”
Kleinfelter was an avid runner and youth sports coach. In Knoxville, Tenn., he helped maintain the grounds of Lake Hills Presbyterian Church, which he and his family attended for 45 years. He was also an active mentor to students at Mt. Olive Elementary School.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Lynn; four children; and four grandchildren.
Graduate alumni memorials are prepared by the APGA.