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First Chair of WSU Food Science Department Dies

PULLMAN, Wash. — John V. Spencer, 80, first chair of the food science and technology department at Washington State University, died Saturday, Feb. 6 in Olympia.

Spencer, a member of the WSU faculty from 1955 to 1965 and from 1966 to 1980, served as chair of what is now the food science and human nutrition department, from 1973 to 1978.

He did research on factors affecting the shelf-life and flavor of poultry meat and eggs. Before he was named department chair, he was a professor of food science and technology and a poultry scientist.

From 1965-66 he conducted research on grape pigments, on the flavor of potato chips and peaches, and on shrimp tenderness at the University of Georgia.

Spencer earned a B.S. in 1952 and an M.S. in 1954 fromWashington State and a doctorate from Purdue University in 1961, where he was a sponsored fellow by the Institute of Food Technologists General Foods Funds.

Spencer was a Naval aviator during World War II. The Oregon native is survived by his wife Dorothy, who also worked at the university, a son John, and daughter Linda.

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