The Crystallographic Community

An obituary of John Stezowski

It is with great sadness that I report that John Stezowski died of a heart attack on Friday, November 30, 2007. John was a fine crystallographer, a good person and a dear friend.

I met John when he attended a Direct Methods meeting held in Buffalo, NY in 1971. He was a champion of international crystallography and we attended many workshops together in Poland and Hungary in the 1980’s where we both made great and lasting friendships. John’s enthusiasm for science extended to leaping over the celebratory bonfire breaking his leg at one very memorable meeting in Poland. John moved from the US to Stuttgart, Germany where he taught crystallography, developed a program of analysis of the cyclodextrin structures and mentored many fine students. With assistance from Judy Flippen-Anderson and me he established the IUCr Commission of Small Molecules (now called Commission on Chemical Crystallography). When the Chinese delegation’s bid to host the 1990 IUCr Congress lost to the French bid in Hamburg, John approached the Chinese delegation led by Y.C. Tang and proposed that we arrange a special IUCr symposium on small molecule crystallography in Beijing in 1986. At John’s invitation Dorothy Hodgkin, Bill Lipscomb, Herb Hauptman and Jack Dunitz agreed to present plenary lecturers at the conference, which was a great success.

John returned to the US to establish a crystallographic program at the University of Nebraska where he once again attracted and trained many excellent students. In Nebraska John continued his elegant studies of the clodextrin complexes using crystallography, spectroscopic techniques and molecular modeling to clarify the complex interactions of the disordered host molecules in these challenging and commercially useful complexes.

Unfortunately there were few opportunities for our paths to cross in recent years and I regret not having stayed in closer contact with him.

Bill Duax