Vernon "Jack" Shiner Jr.

August 11, 1925May 26, 2021
Obituary of Vernon  "Jack" Shiner Jr.
Vernon “Jack” Shiner Jr, aged 95, passed away peacefully at home on May 26th with children and grandchildren at his side. Jack was born in Laredo, Texas in 1925 to Vernon Jack and Mildred Shiner. He grew up in towns along the Texas-Mexico border and graduated from El Paso High School, where he played the trumpet and was a member of the tennis team. He then began studying chemistry at Texas Western College of Mining (now UTEP), where he met his future wife Reva. He enlisted in the Navy during WWII and served as a radar technician on a destroyer in the Pacific. After the war he completed his BS in Chemistry in 1947. Jack earned his PhD in organic chemistry at Cornell University in 1950. He spent 1950-51 as a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow at University College, London, working with Sir Christopher Ingold. From 1951-52 he worked with Paul Bartlett as a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard. He joined the Department of Chemistry at Indiana University in 1952 as an instructor and became a full professor in 1960. From 1959-60 he held a Sloan Research Fellowship, and he was a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar at the University of Zagreb in 1985. He was recognized as one of the world’s experts on solvolysis and elimination reaction mechanisms, using isotope effects on reaction rates to study and elucidate basic mechanisms in chemical and biochemical reactions. Jack made major contributions to Indiana University in teaching and administration. In addition to the many students who have received advanced degrees under his tutelage, he actively pursued innovative approaches to the education of non-chemistry majors. He served as Chairman of the Department of Chemistry twice, once from 1962-67, a period of unprecedented growth in the department, and again from 1982-88, to supervise the construction of the new chemistry complex. He also served with distinction as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1973-78. He loved traveling, gardening, sports cars, and was a wine enthusiast. With his wife Reva, he appreciated and patronized the theater and fine arts, in particular activities of the National Society of Arts and Letters, and the Bloomington playwrights project. Jack is survived by son David and his wife Leslie, daughter Diane and her husband Eric, son-in-law Gilbert and grandchildren Eva and Nathan Wong and Clare, Miles and Jane Allsopp-Shiner. Jack joins his wife Reva and children Lora and Paul. A viewing and celebration of life will be held at Day & Deremiah-Frye Funeral Home on Saturday June 5, 2021. The viewing will begin at 1:00 PM, the brief Celebration of life ceremony will begin at 2:00 PM followed by a reception. Graveside services will be held at 1:00 p.m., Saturday June 12, 2021 at Restlawn Memorial Park in El Paso, Texas.

Show your support

Past Services

Saturday, June 05, 2021


Saturday, June 05, 2021

Celebration of Life and Remembrance

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Graveside Service