R. Linn Belford

R. Linn Belford

MAHOMET – R. Linn Belford, 83, of Mahomet, retired professor of physical chemistry at the University of Illinois, died peacefully at home on Friday (Aug. 14, 2015) after a lengthy illness.

Linn was born in St. Louis, Mo., on Dec. 13, 1931, to the late Rue L. Belford and Fannie Belford (nee Kelley). He grew up in several different places during the Depression as his father sought work, including Baytown, Texas, Cleveland, Ohio, and one year in Lower Merion, Pa., where he met his future wife, Geneva Grosz.

He received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the UI in 1953 and married Geneva in Bryn Mawr, Pa., in 1954. Together they drove across the country to Berkeley, Calif., where he completed his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1955.

They then returned to Illinois so that Linn could join the faculty of his alma mater, where he stayed until his retirement 50 years later in 2005.

Linn and Geneva (retired professor in the Department of Computer Science) enjoyed their retired life together until March of 2014, when Geneva passed away. Although the two of them were inseparable, Linn hung on stoically until his passing, much to the amazement of his caregivers, family and friends.

In addition to the many students whose lives he touched, Linn is survived by two nieces: Dr. Kathleen Robins, associate professor of physical chemistry at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who counts Linn among her greatest mentors; and Dr. Cynthia Robins, senior study director at Westat in Rockville, Md., who had Linn's unwavering support to pursue a degree in cultural anthropology.

Many lives are richer for having known Linn and he will be sorely missed.

Condolences may be offered at www.owensfuneralhomes.com.