Dr. John F. Yeager, 85, research chemist, Union Carbide executive

John F. Yeager of New Canaan and a longtime resident of Ridgefield died while surrounded by his family on July 17, 2012 after a long illness. He was 85.

Born in Orange, NJ on Jan 3,1927, John was the son of the late Olga and Ernest F. Yeager and brother of the late Ernest B. Yeager of Cleveland, OH.

After graduating from Orange High School, John went on to earn a B.A. in 1949 in Mathematics with a minor in Physical Chemistry from Montclair State Teacher's College.

His undergraduate college career was interrupted by an 18-month tour of duty in the U.S. Navy as an Aviation Electronics Technician's Mate Third Class. John continued his education at Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve) where he was awarded a M.S. degree in 1951 and a Ph.D. in 1953 in Physical Chemistry. At Case Western Reserve, John was a teaching assistant and Harshaw Fellow.

John began working for Union Carbide Battery Products Division in 1953 (now Energizer Batteries) as a Research Chemist. During his 39 years with the company, he successfully worked his way to Vice President and General Manager of Technology with accountability for Energizer's worldwide battery technology. He retired in 1991.

John was a member of Sigma Xi and the Electrochemical Society. He published and holds several patents in electrochemistry.

Chemistry was not his only love, he also had many hobbies. He sang in church choirs and barbershop quartets, played the trumpet and his beloved Swiss alphorn. He was an elder in the church. In later years, he was an avid reader of mysteries. John also became a proficient master of wood carving. He specialized in carving wildlife sculptures.

Most of all he loved his family. John will be dearly missed.

John was predeceased by his first wife Olive B. Yeager in 1967, daughters Suzanne Wood in 1997, and Linda Smrdel-Kerns in 1999.

He is survived by his loving wife of 42 years Gertrud Yeager, son John Yeager and his wife Linda, daughter Julie Zink and her husband Andrew, son-in-law Andrew Wood, and grandchildren: Peter Yeager and his wife Anna, Catherine Yeager, Thomas Yeager, Rachael Wood, Rebecca McDonald and her husband Timothy, Bryant Smrdel, Kallie Smrdel, Hannah Zink and Benjamin Zink; the Wanchick family, and cousins in Switzerland.

A Memorial service will take place on August 4th, 2012 at 11 a.m. at the Ridgefield First Congregational Church on Main Street.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Masonic Charity Foundation of Connecticut (P.O. Box 70, Wallingford, CT 06492; www.masonicare.org) or Staying Put in New Canaan (PO Box 484 New Canaan CT 06840; www.stayingputnc.org).

For directions and online condolences visit www.hoytfuneralhome.com