James Monroe Fredericksen, a retired Davidson College chemistry professor and World War II veteran, died June 21, 2012, at The Pines at Davidson. He was 92. He was born on June 25, 1919, in Blackstone, Va., to Rudolph H. and Mary Pollard Fredericksen and grew up in Richmond, VA.
A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Fredericksen received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Richmond. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. During WWII the Navy sent him to Princeton for training, after which he served in the Pacific on the USS Amycus, an amphibious repair ship. He was an executive officer on the ship until his discharge in 1946. He then went to work for Merck as a senior research chemist. In 1948 at an American Chemical Society meeting, he met Harriet Weaver, who he asked to marry him on their first date. They were married later that same year and had three children.
In 1953 Fredericksen left Merck and, in subsequent years, served as Head of the Chemistry Departments at Davis and Elkins and Hampton-Sydney Colleges. In 1957 he joined the Chemistry Department of Davidson College, where he taught for 33 years. His students often commented that he made chemistry understandable and even enjoyable. During those years, in addition to his teaching, he wrote abstracts for chemical magazines. He also was chairman of the College Pre-Medical Committee and was skilled at getting students into medical schools at the rate of twice the national average because admissions deans had confidence in his recommendations.
Fredericksen was active in the American Chemical Society where he served as a Councilor for 17 years and as General Chairman in 1983 for the Southeastern Regional Meeting. He had a unique ability to work with people and accomplish stated goals.
Aside from his scholarly and academic activities, Jim was a master gardener throughout his life. He was devoted to his family and friends, who enjoyed his delightful sense of humor. He was a member of Davidson College Presbyterian Church and a true Southern gentleman.
Fredericksen is survived by his wife of 64 years, Harriet; and his daughters Louise Fredericksen of Pittsboro, NC and Martha Fredericksen of Cornelius, NC. He was predeceased by his parents, his son James, Jr., his brother Rudolph Fredericksen, and his sisters Catherine Hofferbert and Ella F. Pollard.
Memorial gifts may be made to Davidson College Presbyterian Church, PO Box 337, Davidson, NC 28036; or to Davidson College, Box 7174, Davidson, NC 28035-7174; or to The Pines at Davidson Resident Support Fund, 400 Avinger Lane, Davidson, NC 28036; or another charity of choice.