Mildred Catherine Rebstock

November 29, 1919February 17, 2011

Dr. Mildred C. Rebstock, 91, of Ann Arbor, MI, died Thursday, February 17, 2011 at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor. Mildred Catherine Rebstock was born November 29, 1919 in Elkhart, IN, the daughter of Redna (Dunkelberger) and Adolph Rebstock. She graduated from Elkhart High School in 1938. She continued her education at North Central College in Naperville, IL, from which she completed a B. A. degree with High Honors (1942). Mildred did further graduate education at the University of Illinois, Urbane, IL, in Biochemistry where she earned a M. A. (1943) and a Ph. D. (1945). Following the completion of her formal graduate education, Mildred was employed as a medicinal chemist in the research laboratories of Parke-Davis in Detroit and Ann Arbor. She worked her entire professional career doing pharmaceutical research, initially with antibiotics and later researched the synthesis of blood-lipid agents and fertility drugs in the Parke-Davis laboratories. She was the key scientist of a research team at Parke-Davis that determined the chemical structure of one of the “Wonder Drug Antibiotics”, Chloromycetin, and worked out the complete laboratory synthesis of Chloromycetin. This laboratory antibiotic was alike in all respects to the Chloromycetin produced by the mold. This was the first time that an antibiotic produced by a mold had been synthesized in a laboratory from readily available chemicals. As a result, Chloromycetin was mass-produced at a very economical price. Time Magazine published a feature article about the antibiotic, Chloromycetin, and Dr. Rebstock’s contribution in the April 4, 1949 issue. In 1950, Mildred was honored as “The Woman of the Year in Science” by the Women’s National Press Club. This award was presented to Dr. Rebstock in Washington, D. C. by President Harry Truman. Dr. Rebstock was also nominated for a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her work with Chloromycetin. Dr. Rebstock was elected a member or Phi Beta Kappa and she was a member of the American Chemical Society (Emeritis), Sigma XI Scientific Society (Emeritis), and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Rebstock was also a member of the First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor. Mildred is survived by two brothers, Rev. John and Frances (Touchert) Rebstock of Fargo, ND, and their daughter Cathy Prichard of Fargo; and Dr. Ted and Barbara (Lee) Rebstock, of Lemars, IA, and their sons David of Sioux City, IA, and Donald of Greys Lake, IL. Cremation has taken place. A memorial service for Mildred will take place at a later date in the spring. Arrangements entrusted to the Muehlig Funeral Chapel,


Mildred Catherine Rebstock

have a memory or condolence to add?

Tom Ogletree

March 19, 2011

I met Mildred once when I was Visiting My Mom's 1/2 Aunt, Helen Heiber in Ann Arbor when i was a youngster. I remember we went to see her to get Spie Apples to make pies. An interesting fact from when I was around 10 is that I had strep throat very young and they gave me the drug that she had developed, I had a bad reaction to it but that's life..I think it's wonderful to have such a bright star in the family tree. I was sad to see today, a month later that she had past.I was shocked doing some research for my Son for school and found this announcement

Jack Klingbeil

March 2, 2011

I was sorry to read about your sister passing. I can remember how proud Dr. Koten was about her accomplishments.

Anne Middlebrook

February 27, 2011

I met Millie on the Parke-Davis golf league. She had been playing on the league for quite some time and I knew her as a fun and entertaining golfer, with a quick wit, a sparkle in her eye, and a sweet swing. She had retired years earlier from PD. I only knew about her amazing career from a conversation we had at a golf banquet after many years of playing together. From that day she told me of her time at Parke-Davis, she was my hero. I was just in awe of her accomplishments. She blazed the trail for the rest of us. I will always appreciate and remember her contributions to science. I am but a pale shadow in her footstep.
I also miss golfing with her.

Tom and Judy Mich

February 27, 2011

Millie was a very special and accomplished person. Our sympathies to
her family. She welcomed Tom to the PD chemistry department in 1969
and took him under her wing or hood as it may be. She was a talented
and pioneering chemist, yet down to earth as a friend and mentor. In her life she was a model for us all. Rest in peace.

John Ford

February 27, 2011

As a co-worker at Parke-Davis,I had the pleasure to work with Millie for many years as a surpport group member. She was a good person. John Ford