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Harold W. Heine

Dear Colleagues,

The campus community mourns the passing of Harold W. Heine, who died on Monday, July 23. Harold retired as Professor Emeritus of Chemistry after 45 years of service to Bucknell.

Professor Heine was a consummate teacher/scholar. His dynamic teaching and infectious enthusiasm for chemistry were transformative for many students. He was internationally recognized for his many contributions to organic chemistry, including the discovery of what is now known as the Heine reaction. His work was published in over 70 peer-reviewed articles and supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Petroleum Research Fund and other sources. Most of Professor Heine’s research was carried out with undergraduate collaborators at a time when research with undergraduates was much less common than it is today. The example he set helped to stimulate the growth of undergraduate research, both at Bucknell and nationally. Many of Harold’s undergraduate collaborators have gone on to distinguished careers in industry and academia.

Professor Heine received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching and was Bucknell’s first Presidential Professor. At the national level, he was the recipient of the American Chemical Society Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution and the Catalyst Award, given by the Chemical Manufacturers Association for outstanding contributions to chemical education.

Included below is the complete text of the obituary, as provided by the family.

You are encouraged to visit our In Memoriam Site at and share personal notes of sympathy and remembrance with others.

On behalf of our entire University community, I extend our deepest sympathies to Harold’s family, as well as to all who knew him at Bucknell.

John C. Bravman

Harold W. Heine, 95, of Lewisburg, died Monday, July 23, 20I8, at the Evangelical Community Hospital, Lewisburg.

He was born Sept. 14, 1922, in Highland Park, N.J., a son of the late Charles W. and Elizabeth (Gabriel) Heine. On Aug. 1, 1953, he married the former Marjorie Boote and together they celebrated nearly 65 years of marriage.

Harold received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Rutgers University.

He retired in 1992 from Bucknell University, where he was a professor of organic chemistry and chairman of the department for many years. He loved both teaching and doing research, and leaves a legacy of many students who went on to have successful careers of their own.

In his spare time, Harold enjoyed gardening, reading, traveling, crossword puzzles, playing tennis and innumerable games of solitaire. He also had a passion for minerals and amassed a very large collection.
In his years after retirement, he was an avid poet, and even had two books of his poetry published.
Surviving, in addition to his wife, are his children, Katherine Keller and her husband, Jule, of Gilbert, AZ; and Eric Heine and his wife, Kristina, of Carrollton, GA; one son-in-law, Robert Varney; 10 grandchildren, Christine, Rebecca, Christopher, Katie, Tim, Niki, Amelia, Deanna, Valerie and Julianne; eight great-grandchildren; one niece, Dorothy Easton; and one nephew, Jeff Heine.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by one daughter, Elizabeth Varney; and one brother, Charles W. Heine Jr.

Friends will be received from 4 to 5 p.m. Friday at Cronrath-Grenoble Funeral Home, South Second and St. Louis streets, Lewisburg, where a memorial service will be held at 5.

Burial will be held privately at the convenience of the family in the Lewisburg Cemetery.

The family will provide the flowers and suggests contributions in Harold’s name be made to the Chemistry Graduate Research Fund and mailed to Bucknell University, 301 Market St., Suite 2 Lewisburg, PA 17837.

Expressions of sympathy may be shared at

One Response to “Harold W. Heine”

  1. agratti says:

    I was out of town for several days and came back to the news of Harold’s passing. It saddened me very much to know that I will never see Harold again walking through our doors of our office to have some pictures copied for his poetry books. Very upsetting. He made us smile and loved to sit and chat with us. Cherish those you care for.