In Memoriam

Robert Keown, professor emeritus of animal and food sciences, dies


9:01 a.m., April 4, 2013--Robert William (Bob) Keown of Kennett Square, Pa., professor emeritus of animal and food sciences at the University of Delaware, died March 31 after a long illness. He was 83.

Born April 23, 1929, in Louisville, Ky., he lived in Wilmington, Del., from 1960 to 1992. He spent from 1963 to 1965, in Londonderry, Ireland, while with the DuPont Co and most recently lived in Chester County, Pa., as a resident of the Kendall-Crosslands community.

He earned his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Louisville. A prolific research chemist, he was with DuPont from 1955-84, had many patents and was named a DuPont Fellow. 

In 1984, Dr. Keown became a professor at UD, where he was the co-founder and chair of the food science department.  

"Dr. Keown was instrumental in the merger of the Department of Food Sciences with the Department of Animal Science in 1995," Jack Gelb, chairperson of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, said. "I recall Bob as a kind and gentle person and an outstanding food scientist, a leader who was committed to his faculty and the success of food science students. I know many of us have very fond memories of Bob and will miss him."

He was active in amateur radio, with the call sign WA3QID, throughout his life and was involved in many other community activities. 

Dr. Keown was preceded in death by his parents, Mary Ethel Wayne and William Beck Keown, and by his first wife, Eleanor (Jean) Crawford. He is survived by his brother, Wayne (Tom) Keown; his sister, Carol Spath; his sons, Rob and Mike Keown; his daughter, Judy Brown; his daughter-in-law, Susan Keown; his grandsons, Bob and Dan Keown and Mark Brown; his great-grandchildren Kailey, Joshua and Owen Brown; and his friend and ex-wife, Yan Switkay. 

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m., Sunday, April 14, at Kendall-Crosslands, 1660 East Street Rd., Kennett Square, Pa. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Department of Animal and Food Sciences Discretionary Fund, in care of the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, Gifts Processing, Attn: Pat Correale, 83 East Main St., Third Floor. 

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