C. Roland Eddy, USDA chemist

C. Roland Eddy
C. Roland Eddy
Posted: February 25, 2013

C. Roland Eddy, 98, a research chemist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 31 years who also taught college courses, died Tuesday, Feb. 12, at Meadowood, a continuing care community in Worcester.

Mr. Eddy discovered several compounds and developed and managed the Agriculture Department's first computer center in the 1960s.

He worked at the Agriculture Department from 1941 to 1972. During the 1940s, '50s, and '60s, he was a part-time instructor at Temple University, teaching courses including thermodynamics and electrochemistry.

He also taught physics and interdisciplinary sciences from 1963 to 1977 at Beaver College, now Arcadia University, in Glenside, where he earned a distinguished teaching award while working there part-time. He was a longtime resident of Abington.

Mr. Eddy was born Aug. 31, 1914, in Providence, R.I. He received a bachelor of science degree from Brown University in 1935. Three years later, he received his doctoral degree from the University of Illinois.

During his time in Illinois, he met and married Margaret E. Hedgcock. A few years later, they moved to the Philadelphia area, where they raised a family in Abington. Margaret Eddy died in 1971 after 31 years of marriage.

Mr. Eddy married Helen Horton McCaa in 1974. They had met at Carmel Presbyterian Church in Glenside. They enjoyed traveling overseas and playing music.

Mr. Eddy had a lifelong passion for music. He began playing the piano and organ as a teen. He also wrote several musical compositions, including his own wedding march, which was later used by other family members.

In 1990, the couple moved to Meadowood. He and his wife sang in the choir there and played piano and organ duets.

They were also active with resident committees, a newsletter, and the audiovisual department at Meadowood. Helen Eddy died in 2011 at age 99.

Mr. Eddy enjoyed writing and, at 89, he published a book, Oceans of the Mind: Computer Science and Theory of Knowledge, on the philosophy of science.

He is survived by daughters Elizabeth and Virginia; sons William and Charles; stepchildren David McCaa and Marian Thomas; 12 grandchildren; two brothers; and a sister.

A memorial service is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, June 2, at Gwynedd Square Presbyterian Church, 837 Sumneytown Pike, Lansdale.

Contributions may be made to the Meadowood Benevolence Fund, 3205 Skippack Pike, Box 670, Worcester, Pa. 19490.

Contact Vernon Clark at 215-854-5717 or vclark@phillynews.com.

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