Daniel Kallus, 1932-2018

Daniel Kallus, 1932-2018

Dan Kallus first came to my attention when the ChemSource National Science Foundation grant was getting under way and Marge Gardner, in her usual prescient way, was seeking a leader of what she called the "Texas team." Dan was chosen to lead a team of three that subsequently wrote five superb teaching modules for the ChemSource project: Chemical Bonding, Molecular Geometry, Instrumentation, Separations, and Chemical Technicians. Already well-known, his contributions in this area propelled him into the limelight an-d he became a recognized figure at every chemical education conference and national meeting of the American Chemical Society. Dan's affable demeanor, his obvious mastery of his field, and his quiet stick-to-it-iveness of hard work made him a beloved figure nationwide. It was always a pleasure for me to be able to greet him at every national meeting and with a nod and a wink, I communicated to him the results of my research on the times and whereabouts of Catholic Masses in the meeting city - and it was always a pleasure to be able to worship with him as well as debate with him in committee and council meetings. Martha would join us from time to time, and when Dan could no longer attend the meetings regularly, we always tried to seize the opportunity for a visit, and I had the honor of being a guest in their home several times. Although it is a long way from Westchester County, New York to Midland, Texas, we always kept in touch, and of course, I always enjoyed hearing about the doings of Mary and Elizabeth as they grew up and became professionals in their own fields. For me, Dan will always remain the quintessential  dedicated teacher who exercised quiet authority both in his discipline and his classroom. He was, as was said of Saint Thomas More, a scholar and a gentleman. It has been my great honor to have been associated with Dan for a good part of my life. We will miss him terribly.

Mary Virginia Orna

This man, my mentor and my friend, was the first one to believe in me as a chemical educator. I student taught with him in the spring of 1985 at Midland High School. We would sit in his office, just off of the classroom, filled with the smell of pipe tobacco, going over my plans and ideas. When it came time to look for my first job, he went to the administration and said "Hire her even though we don't have an open position." They did and MHS did end up with a position, so I had the privilege of teaching with him for the next two years. The summer after my first full year of teaching, we drove to the University of Texas to attend the first ever "Energy Science Symposium," where we made crude computer probes and worked on programs with floppy disks. I actually learned how to solder! I met giants of chemical education that week, sitting with many of Dan's friends over beers. I credit my love of professional development and networking to the start he gave me. He instilled in me a desire to continue learning and to always believe I could be a better educator.


Martha, my heart breaks for you and your family. He was a great man who will be sorely missed. He was a giant in chemical education indeed who lived a life in service to others. My students are the beneficiaries of his profound impact on my life. He "lit the spark" in me. I pray that I can impact others the way he did me.


Posted on Facebook by Roxanne Allen, chemistry teacher.  Roxanne was recognized in a few years ago by the American Chemistry Society as High School Chemistry Teacher of the Year 


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