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Robert Spenger

Alumnus California State University, Fullerton, Professor Emeritus Robert Spenger (PhD ’61) died on January 20, 2017, at the age of 93.

Spenger enrolled in the University of California, Berkeley in 1942 and, after one semester, went into the service where he repaired airplanes at the World War II Army Air Force base at Brownsville, Texas.

He returned to UC Berkeley in 1946 on the GI Bill, graduating with a degree in chemistry. He was a Phi Beta Kappa scholar and a four-year letterman in varsity crew.  He was a 1959-60 National Science Fellow and a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and American Chemical Society.  After graduating, he worked for Shell Chemicals, then at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.  

Spenger earned his doctorate degree in organic chemistry at UCLA in 1961, and then went for a post-doctorate at the University of California, Riverside, Agricultural Experiment Station. He joined the faculty of California State University Fullerton (CSFU) in 1964. At CSFU, in addition to teaching lower- and upper-division chemistry courses, the avid hiker and cyclist advised the student mountaineering club, and after he retired, tutored chemistry students. 

Surviving family members include his wife of 57 years, Constance Spenger, Big Pine; his daughter, Diana Koenig, of Van Buren, Missouri; niece, Kay Whipp of San Pablo, California; and grand-niece, Tracy Magee of El Cerrito, California.

A memorial service will be held in the spring at a date to be determined.

Photograph courtesy of CSUF News Center.