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In Memory of Dr. Lyle Phifer

LyleDr. Lyle H Phifer, 87, passed away after a lengthy illness on June 2, 2015. Lyle was born in Chester, SC on November 16, 1927 to parents Mary Hamilton Phifer and Isaac Avery Phifer and grew up in Spartanburg, SC. He had 10 grand-children and four great-grandchildren.

Dr. Phifer received a BS in Chemistry from Woord College in 1948, and MS and PhD degrees from Vanderbilt University in 1951-53. Lyle was well-known and involved in professional groups involving analytical chemistry. As a member emeritus (60+ years) of the Philadelphia Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS), he served as a Chairman and chaired various committees. He was a long time contributor of technical papers for the Analytical Division, and was a recipient of the Philadelphia Section Award for Outstanding Research. As a member of ACS, he held leadership positions at the local, regional and national level. He was a Founder of the Delaware Valley Chromatography Forum and active in that organization for over 40 years, as well as the Philadelphia Science Council, where he served as President.

Lyle moved to Chester County in 1953 and was employed as a research chemist for American Viscose Corporation (later FMC Corporation), where he developed numerous analytical techniques in the eld of chromatography. He holds a patent on a spectrophotometer cell holder still in use today, and was responsible for numerous advances in analytical methods. His work eventually led him to Chem Service, Inc. in West Chester, which he joined as a minority partner in 1972, eventually becoming President and owner. He was directly responsible for the growth of Chem Service from a small, part-time business to a thriving world-leading producer and distributor of analytical standards. He also thrived in the classroom, teaching chromatography techniques to undergraduate and graduate students at both Villanova University and St. Joseph’s University.

Lyle’s interests included bridge, where he was a long-time member of the Men’s Bridge Division of The Thornbury Shooting & Sporting Association, founded in 1937. He was an art enthusiast and took many art classes at the Chester County Art Association, and served as past president. He also enjoyed woodworking, building fine furniture and reproductions of period pieces, and traveling, especially to the Caribbean and a vacation home on Penns Creek.