CARBONDALE – The loving family of Charles Byram Muchmore grieves his passing on November 22, 2016 at age 82, but celebrates a remarkable life. He was born in Summit, New Jersey, March 20, 1934 (as his mother said, first came Charlie, then came spring) to Charles Vernon and Beatrice Byram Muchmore. Charles had two elder sisters, Beatrice Jean and Ethyl Mae. In his late teens he became a proficient photographer doing freelance work for newspapers and weddings. He earned a bachelors degree in chemical engineering from Lehigh University, followed by a masters degree from Bucknell. This lead to a successful career at Merck where he conducted research and development including an innovative process for extruding high quality rods of silicon; this was a critical step in the development of semiconductor technology. In 1966 the newly created College of Engineering at SIU invited Charles to join the faculty, and he earned a doctorate degree in biochemistry while teaching and conducting research. He earned tenure and rose to the rank of full professor. Administrative responsibilities included terms serving as Assistant Dean of Engineering and Director of the Coal Research Center. Research interests included desulfurization of coal, water treatment plant improvement, and the remediation of Campus Lake.
He taught engineering students from the USA and countries across the globe on the Carbondale campus of SIU, as well as teaching masters degree students in Springfield Illinois. His students deeply appreciated his dedication, depth of knowledge and engineering experience.
Charles was also very active in professional engineering societies. He served as President of the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers and was named a Fellow of the National Society of Professional Engineers. Upon his retirement he continued to attend engineering society conferences and actively participate in engineering society committee work.
Charles married Mary Russell Deutermann on July 12, 1958 in Washington, DC. The couple had two children, daughter Heather and son Byram. The family enjoyed camping both across the country and locally, especially at Little Grassy Lake in Illinois and the Current River in Missouri. Throughout his life Charles loved fishing, whether in the surf, river or lake. Charles and Mary Russell especially enjoyed fifteen winters in South Padre Island where they walked, fished, cooked, and golfed. They also contributed to their south Texas community by serving in their Episcopal church, and volunteering with the environmental efforts there.
In addition to his wife and children, he is survived by son-in-law Charles Jacobs Gantzer III, daughter-in-law Jacqueline Flora Bays-Muchmore. His grandchildren are Emma, Edwina and Beatrice Gantzer, and Marigold, Coral and Aurora Bays-Muchmore.
Charles is leaving a legacy of scientific progress, generations of successful engineering students, and his wife, two children and six grandchildren who recall with gratitude, affection and love his myriad ways of showing how much he cared for them.
Funeral services for Charles will be 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 26, 2016 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Carbondale with The Very Reverend Kathryn Jeffrey officiating. Burial will follow in Pleasant Grove Memorial Park, Murphysboro. Visitation will be from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, November 25 at Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale.
Memorials are the preferred form of remembrance and may be made to the donor’s choice.