Remembering Jean “Jeanie” Turner Trueblood

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Trueblood Jeanie

We are sad to report that Jean “Jeanie” Turner Trueblood passed away peacefully on Monday, November 28, 2016 at the age of 97.

TruebloodJeanie was an active member of the UCLA community for decades.  She was married to UCLA chemistry professor Dr. Kenneth Nyitray Trueblood (right) until his death in 1998. Ken was a leading scientist and teacher at UCLA for whom the Kenneth Trueblood lecture hall is named. The Kenneth N. Trueblood Fellowships in Structural Science were established in 1998 in his honor and an undergraduate fellowship was recently established by a former student in recognition of the gifted teacher and mentor that he was. Jeanie supported Ken enthusiastically on several sabbatical leaves in Switzerland. He worked with Prof. Jack D. Dunitz at the ETH in Zurich and she volunteered at a hospital nearby.

Jeanie was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1919, the daughter of Bertha Chapman Turner and Frank D. Turner, and grew up in Sleepy Hollow, New York. She graduated from Rollins College in 1941 and she went on to receive a master’s degree in social work from the Columbia University School of Social Work. (It was at Rollins College that Jeanie met her first husband, Dr. Donald Cram, who went on to become a UCLA chemistry professor and win a Nobel Prize.)

Jeanie was an active member of the UCLA Faculty Women’s Club. She worked and volunteered for Planned Parenthood and supported many other feminist, environmental and anti-war causes.

Every summer Jeanie and Ken migrated to their camp in Belgrade Lakes, Maine where they supported conservation and community development. Jeanie continued to visit Maine each summer until recently.

“I had some wonderful conversations with Jeanie, she was a real supporter of women scientists,” said Dr. Janette Kropat, Operations Manager for the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, who watched Jeanie’s Los Angeles home when she visited Maine, “she will be missed”.

Jean is survived by her nieces Diane Russell of Washington DC, Susanne Watson of Asheville, NC, Jeannie Russell of New York, NY and grandnieces Emma Russell-Grad, Tess Russell-Grad and Eva Russell Yuma. Jean did not want a funeral or flowers but her nieces think she would approve of a donation to Planned Parenthood.