Howard L. Stephens, Professor Emeritus of Polymer Science and Chemistry at The University of Akron passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at the age of 97. The son of the late Daniel and Henrietta Stephens, he was born in Akron, OH on October 9, 1919. He graduated from Akron Garfield High School and then entered the U.S. Army and served during World War II. After serving his country he enrolled at the University of Akron where he earned his BS in Chemistry, MS in Chemistry and in 1960 he earned his PhD in Polymer Chemistry.

During a teaching career that spanned over 30 years, he started in 1950 as a Research Chemist and retired in 1983 as the Department Head of Polymer Science at The University of Akron.

Through the years he was published numerous times and was considered an expert in Rubber Technology and Guayule Rubber.

In 1990 he was awarded the George Stafford Whitby Award for teaching from the Rubber Division, American Chemical Society. His greatest joy as an educator was being in the classroom with students and he followed with pride the careers of those whom he had taught and mentored.

Howard was an Akron Zips fan having season tickets for both Basketball and Football. He was an avid sports fan and in younger years he earned a try out with the New York Yankees and survived until the final cut. He also loved the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Indians and The Ohio State Buckeyes. He enjoyed hiking and was an avid reader.

Howard was preceded in death by his wife Marian and sister Dorothy Johnson.

He is survived by his daughter Dee Dee (Jim) Pifer, beloved grandsons Matthew and Zachery Pifer, niece, Lois Clark and several other nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held 1:30pm Tuesday at the Hilliard-Rospert Funeral Home, 174 N. Lyman St., Wadsworth. Interment with Military Honors will follow at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery. The family will receive friends and celebrate Howard’s life 4:30-7:00pm Tuesday at the Galaxy Banquet Center, 201 Park Ctr. Dr., Wadsworth.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to: Cleveland Clinic Akron General Justin T. Rogers Hospice Care Center, 3358 Ridgewood Rd., Akron, OH 44333