University of Idaho Icon Dies on 103rd Birthday


Malcolm and Carol Renfrew
  • University of Idaho
  • Malcolm and Carol Renfrew

Malcolm Renfrew was born when the 20th century was still new. And throughout his life, he would help change science and technology: Renfrew supervised the team responsible for developing Teflon (his name is on several initial patents); he developed doctoral programs in chemistry and physics at the University of Idaho; and he received the James Flack Norris Award for his contributions to physical organic chemistry.

Renfrew died Oct. 13 on his 103rd birthday at his Moscow home, not far from the university that he loved.

He met his wife Carol at U of I, and they were married for 71 years. In 1985, the U of I's Physical Sciences Building was named Malcolm M. Renfrew Hall, and the university has established a series of lectures—the Malcolm M. Renfrew Interdisciplinary Colloquium—in his honor.

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports that Carol Renfrew died at the age of 96 in 2010. The Renfrews are survived by two nieces. They had no children.

Funeral arrangements at Short's Funeral Chapel in Moscow are pending