Cover photo for James Philip Friend's Obituary
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James Philip Friend

James Philip Friend

Of Bala Cynwyd

James Philip Friend, 94, scientist, professor, musician, beloved family man, friend and colleague, passed away on May 10th at his home in Bala Cynwyd, PA.  He was born on November 30, 1929 in Hartford, Connecticut, moved to small town Etna, New Hampshire, where he enjoyed exploring the surrounding woods and, in his words, learned about “kindness, fairness, humility, ethics and morality”, and later to Rego Park, Queens, where he was surrounded by books and enjoyed a rich intellectual life. He exemplified the best traits he learned as a young boy in New Hampshire and his love for reading, nurtured in Queens, lasted his lifetime. 

Jim had a deep regard for science and approached matters logically, and with precision, but also with empathy and compassion.  His understanding and love of classical music brought him great joy and comfort, whether he was playing the recorder with his weekly group or listening to Bach on his prized JBL speakers. He had a keen intellect in constant search of a challenge - Jim tackled word and math puzzles with gusto - and a lifelong curiosity and passion for learning. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he received his PhD in physical chemistry from Columbia University.  He was the first atmospheric chemist in the academic community and spent much of his career as a professor and researcher on the faculties of New York University and Drexel University.  Jim was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and author of a number of scholarly scientific papers, including on the destructive effect of chlorofluorocarbons on the ozone layer, the potential climate implications of volcanic eruptions including Mount St Helen’s, and the climatic effects of nuclear war.  

Jim is survived by his loving wife of 69 years, Etta, his two children, Amy (Tim Aluise) Friend and Robert (Cheryl) Friend, his four grandchildren, Dylan (Ellie) Aluise, Jordan (Kyle) Hinke, Rachel Friend and Danielle Friend, and his three great grandchildren, Luca Aluise, Hayes Hinke and Robin Aluise.

The family will hold a private service.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jim’s memory to the Union of Concerned Scientists or the Environmental Defense Fund.  


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