Donald Leonard Horrocks

Male 1929 - 1985  (55 years)


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  • Name Donald Leonard Horrocks  [1
    Born 14 Jul 1929  Dearborn, Wayne Co., MI Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 15 May 1985  Placentia, Orange Co., CA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • From: Allan Horrocks
      Donald (Don) was born in Dearborn, MI, Wayne County on July 14,
      1929. He was the second son of Wilfrid and Deena Horrocks. In 1931, at
      the height of the depression, his father lost his job at the Ford Motor
      Co. and the family came west with the promise of work. His mother's
      family had relocated from New Mexico to Kelso, Washington in 1928 and
      knew several of the mill owners in the Kelso/Longview area who had told
      them that they would employ him if he came out. Don's parents came to
      Kelso to find that jobs were not available and his mother stayed with her
      parents for 10 months, while his father (and the older brother and
      sister) went to Los Angeles to work for his father. While in Kelso, Don's
      mother gave birth to her fourth child and cared for her younger brothers
      and sisters. In 1932, they left Kelso to rejoin the rest of the family in
      Los Angeles and stayed there until 1933. When a job opening came up, the
      family moved back to Washington and Don started school in Longview,
      Washington. In June of 1935, the family moved to Haussler Road outside of
      Kelso where they bought some land and started building a home. Most
      everybody that lived on Haussler Road was a relative and there were lots
      of cousins to play with. Most all of the childhood activities took place
      out-of-doors even in the rainy season. Don's activities were involved
      with football, baseball, swimming, etc. Don attended Wallace Grade school
      in south Kelso. The school was very old and was infected with every
      childhood disorder that you could imagine and Don was not exempt from
      catching them and bringing them home to everyone. What he didn't catch
      someone else in the family did. Don could be described as a "normal
      student" in his grade school years with just average grades and not
      displaying any particular bent for academics. When Don moved on to junior
      and senior high school, he began to display a real talent for things
      academically. He finished his last 6 years with straight 4.0 average and
      received an academic scholarship to Reed College, in Portland, Oregon. He
      graduated from Reed College in 1951 with a BS in Chemistry. He did his
      graduate work at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. He received his Phd
      in Physical Chemistry in November 1955. Don married Marge in New Jersey
      in July 1955. After completing his thesis and orals, Don accepted a job
      with Union Carbide in Parma, OH Don was not satisfied with this job
      and after a period of a year or so he accepted a job with Argonne
      Laboratories, outside Chicago, Cook Co., ILlinois, doing basic research associated
      with nuclear research. Don and Marge bought a home in Naperville,
      Illinois and daughters Andrea and Cindy were both born there. In 1971 Don
      took a position with Beckman Instruments in Fullerton, California which
      he held until his death in 1985. Don was the world recognized authority
      in Liquid Scintillation. Don had 13 patents issued and many technical
      papers published. All of his published work has been preserved in two
      volumes issued by Beckman Instruments, Inc., Nuclear Systems Operations,
      Fullerton, California in 1986. These volumes were presented on the
      occasion of the dedication of the Donald L. Horrocks Nuclear Applications
      Laboratory at Beckman Instruments, Inc., Nuclear Systems Operations, 2500
      Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, California, on April 26, 1986.

      The following is taken from the preface; "The papers and patents compiled
      in this book are an important measure of the scientific career of Dr.
      Donald L. Horrocks. He was proud of his contributions to the science and
      technology of radioisotope measurement and proud of his standing among
      his fellow scientists. However, the real impact of Don's work is not
      measured by his own papers but by the tens of thousands of scientists who
      use the instrument with his innovations to do their research. Don was
      equally proud of the contributions he made to the business success of the
      Nuclear Systems Operations. From when he started with Beckman until his
      death in May 1985, he was the driving force for such advances as " H
      Number", improved AQC, and " chemiluminecence" and "two-phase monitor" to
      name a few. All these advances kept NSO on the leading edge of liquid
      scintillation technology. But technology does not necessarily lead to
      success. It was Don's unique ability to translate theory into practical
      use that gave his work the lasting importance that it enjoys today. As
      impressive as his contributions are to science and to Beckman
      Instruments, they are secondary to the effect he had on the careers and
      lives of those who worked with him. Don always had the time to explain
      his work, to listen to others and to share his ideas and success. His
      helpful, friendly manner and his enthusiastic outlook on life served as
      an example to all who knew him. Don Horrocks will be remembered as a
      scientist and a gentleman"

      Don wrote one book, "Applications of Liquid Scintillation Counting",
      published by the Academic Press, New York, San Francisco, London, in 1974
      and co-authored two others.

      Don was loved by all who came in contact with him. He was one of those
      rare people who are imbued with that human characteristic - kindness.
      Even as a young man Don was kind to everyone. He did not speak negatively
      about anyone and exercised a positive influence on all who came in
      contact with him.
    Person ID I04835  Irish
    Last Modified 3 Jan 2008 

    Father Wilfrid Horrocks,   b. 1904, Newton, Lancaster, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Deena Laurence Hendrick,   b. 24 Mar 1906, Colorado Springs, El Paso Co., CO Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 2 Jul 1922  Raton, Colfax Co., NM Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F2011  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Margaret Anette Powell 
    Married 30 Jul 1954  Kearny, Hudson Co., NJ Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    +1. A.J. Horrocks
     2. C.K. Horrocks
    Family ID F2033  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 14 Jul 1929 - Dearborn, Wayne Co., MI Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 30 Jul 1954 - Kearny, Hudson Co., NJ Link to Google Earth
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    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S007008] Allan Horrocks.