The N. Kemp Maer, Sr. Endowed Excellence Fund in Physics was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System on June 28, 2007, to benefit the University of Texas College of Natural Sciences. The endowment honors Mr. Newton Kemp Maer. Gift funds were provided by Dr. N. Kemp Maer, Jr.
Newton Kemp Maer, Sr. was born October 19, 1911, in Wichita Falls, Texas, to William Newton (1883–1970) and Emma Sibyl Kemp (1884–1961) Maer. His sister was Charlotte Kemp Patton. Newton Kemp, age 9, is shown at right with his mother, Sibyl, in their 1920 passport photo.
Newton's father William was a very successful capitalist and oil operator in Wichita Falls. More can be found at William Newton Maer. Kemp was a veteran of World War II. He married Orline Dunn (1915–2016). Kemp and Orline are shown below at right. Kemp earned his law degree from the University of Texas in 1936. At UT he was a member of Phi Delta Phi, the honorary legal fraternity. He died in Houston, Texas on July 5, 1969, and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Houston with his wife Orline.
Orline Dunn Maer's Obituary:
Orline Dunn Maer, 101, of Colorado County, Texas, formerly of Houston, died on July 1, 2016 in Weimar, Texas. Born January 21, 1915 in Houston, she was the daughter of Bessie Parker and Dewitt Clinton Dunn. She was preceded in death by her husband, N. Kemp Maer Sr., her sisters Bessie D. Fauntleroy and Dorothy D. Davis, and her brothers Dewitt C. Dunn, Jr. and Thomas C. Dunn. She is survived by her children and children-in-law N. Kemp Maer, Jr. and Martha B. Maer, William Dewitt Maer and Joanna Gillen, Katherine Maria Maer, and Mary Elizabeth Maer and David F. Tipple, nine grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
Orline, who was Lena to her friends and Nene to her family, loved and was loved by her many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. She was especially close to her nieces Joan Davis O'Leary and Betsy Fauntleroy Glasgow. Her maternal grandparents, Bessie Smith "Monie" and Judge John Wilson Parker, were an important part of her life. Her wedding was held in their home on Courtlandt Place.
Orline was a fifth-generation Houstonian for whom volunteering was a lifelong activity. She was a member of the Junior League of Houston and the River Oaks Garden Club, and volunteered at libraries in Houston and Weimar. She was employed for fifteen years at the St. Mary's Seminary Library in Houston.
Her Catholic faith was an important part of her life. She was a member of St. Anne's Catholic Church in Houston for many years, and of St. Michael's Catholic Church in Weimar after her move there in 1988. She was a graduate of St. Agnes Academy, where she was valedictorian, and was a member of Pi Beta Phi at the University of Texas.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Friends of the Weimar Public Library, One Jackson Square, Weimar, Texas 78962; St. Michael School, 103 E. North St., Weimar, Texas 78962; or the Orline D. Maer Scholarship Fund at St. Michael School.
The family is grateful for the care provided by the Youens & Duchicela Clinic, the Weimar Medical Center, and Kindred at Home Hospice.
Published in Houston Chronicle from July 7 to July 8, 2016
Newton Kemp Maer, Jr.-Donor
Even though his father was an attorney, Dr. N. Kemp Maer, Jr. had a strong interest in physics growing up. He had a set of books at home called The Book of Popular Science that published an annual supplement with the latest developments in science. Kemp Jr. can distinctly recall eagerly awaiting these supplements and, when they arrived, reading the physics articles and discussing them with Kemp Sr. Out of these readings and discussions came a desire in Kemp Jr. to major in physics and an awareness of the interesting facets of the field that carried him through the “rather mundane introductory courses” in physics and into the interesting and challenging ones. Without that awareness for which he has his father to thank, Kemp Jr. is not sure he would have stayed in the field of physics. It is for this that he honors his father with the N. Kemp Maer, Sr. Endowed Excellence Fund in Physics.
Kemp Maer, Jr. was a student at The University of Texas from 1959 through 1968, apart from a year of graduate work in space science at Rice. He obtained BS, MA, and PhD degrees in physics. His PhD thesis, awarded in 1968, was entitled, Mössbauer Studies of Iron Complexes. His supervising professor was Russell Collins. Kemp worked for the Exxon Production Research Company for 30 years, retiring in 1998. After five years of consulting for various affiliates of Exxon and Exxon Mobil, he retired completely and has spent his time working for two non-profit organizaationsand pursuing interests in physics, astrophysics, geology, and poetry.
Dr. N. Kemp Maer, Jr. gained much from his education and employment, and, after retiring, he has the means, the time, and the opportunity to give something back to the community through donations and volunteer work. Kemp and his wife, Martha, are shown at right.
Newton Kemp Maer Sr. Photo Album