Daniel M. Seffenson

Daniel M. Steffenson, a Visiting Professor of Chemistry (2010-13), died on May 16, 2018, in Saline, Michigan.

(The following was published by the Ann Arbor News on September 20, 2018)

Daniel M. Seffenson

Steffenson, Daniel Morris, 6/15/1940 – 5/16/2018, of Ann Arbor died May 16, 2018 just outside Ann Arbor, Michigan after a long illness.

Born in 1940 in Moline, IL, to John Morris and Esther (nee Conrad) Steffenson, Dan grew up in the Quad Cities and attended Cornell College. He received his PhD in physical chemistry from Harvard University. Dan’s doctoral advisor was George Kistiakowsky, a renowned scientist who served on the Manhattan project and campaigned much of his adult life against war and nuclear proliferation.

While studying in Cambridge, he met his wife, Carol Elizabeth Spielman. They were married December 14th, 1965 at Harvard Epworth Church. After graduation, they relocated to Albion, Michigan, where Dan joined the faculty at Albion College. During a 41-year career at Albion, Dan devoted himself to undergraduate education until his retirement in 2008. A man of broad interests with a strong commitment to Liberal Arts education, he not only taught core courses in Chemistry, but also explored Great Issues in the Sciences which engaged with the philosophy of science and the evolution of scientific paradigms.

Dan was a music lover with a passion for singing and provided the foundation to a number of choruses throughout his life. As a youth he was an exceptional basketball player and was named to the Iowa all-state high school basketball team. A devoted father, Dan shepherded his children through endless music lessons and provided tireless sideline encouragement at track meets and basketball games. He was also an animal lover, who was rarely without a cat or two on his lap.

Dan is survived by his daughter, Kristina Steffenson McElheran and her husband, Andrew McElheran of Toronto, Ontario; his daughter, Annie Steffenson and husband, Dirk Kinley, of San Carlos, CA; and his son, John Steffenson and his wife, Melissa Day, of Ann Arbor. He is also survived by his five grandchildren, Colin and Emily McElheran, and Benjamin, Lila, and Cooper Kinley. Dan was preceded in death by his wife, Carol Steffenson, in August, 2017.

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