Cover photo for Erling Grovenstein, Jr.'s Obituary
Erling Grovenstein, Jr. Profile Photo
1924 Erling 2019

Erling Grovenstein, Jr.

November 12, 1924 — October 28, 2019

Dr. Erling Grovenstein, Jr., 94, of Atlanta, died October 28, 2019. He was born on November 12, 1924, in Miami, Florida, to Erling Grovenstein and Lois O’Keefe Nesbitt Grovenstein. Erling later moved to Albany, Georgia, where he graduated in 1941 with honors from Albany High School at the age of 16.

Erling attended the Georgia Institute of Technology graduating magna cum laude in 1944 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry under an intensified wartime program. He went on to obtain his doctorate degree in organic chemistry from MIT, returning to Georgia Tech in 1948 as a faculty member teaching chemistry and performing related research.

A member of Georgia Tech’s faculty for 40 years, Erling ultimately was named to the Julius L. Brown Chair in Chemistry. During his time at Georgia Tech, he taught numerous undergraduate and graduate courses ranging from freshman chemistry to physical organic and heterocyclic chemistry. He also supervised 35 graduate thesis students and 15 postdoctoral fellows.

During his career, Erling published more than 65 research articles and papers including works for the German Chemical Society. He also contributed to numerous textbooks such as Recent Advances in Anionic Polymerization. He was a member of the Sigma Xi and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies along with the following professional societies: The American Chemical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry (London), the Georgia Academy of Science, the American Association of University Professors and Alpha Chi Sigma.

Early in his career, Erling met and married Katherine Carson Gangwer, a librarian at Georgia Tech. Following her death in 1952, he married Lillian Anne Enloe, now deceased. He was a charter member of Shallowford Presbyterian Church where he served as a Sunday School teacher, deacon, elder and longtime choir member.

A member of the American Hemerocallis Society and the Daylily Society of Greater Atlanta, Erling hybridized and introduced several hundred named varieties. He was also a charter member of the Georgia Hosta Society.

As Erling recalled in an interview featured in a 2007 Georgia Tech Alumni Association publication, “Someone told me that my students thought that I was a hard teacher. I thought that was nice, because after all, it doesn’t matter whether you are hybridizing daylilies or working as a chemist, unless your work hard, you will not be successful.”

Erling is survived by his son, Fred Grovenstein of Atlanta; son John and daughter-in-law Lisa Ray Grovenstein of Norcross and grandsons Evan Grovenstein (Mary) of Athens, Jack Grovenstein (Meghan) of Chamblee and great granddaughter, Sawyer Ray Grovenstein. He is also survived by his sister Lucy Ann Moore of Birmingham, Ala., and numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.

The memorial service will be held on November 2 at 1 p.m. at Shallowford Presbyterian Church. The family will receive friends at a reception immediately following the service in Shallowford’s Heritage Hall.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Ministry of Music, Shallowford Presbyterian Church, 2375 Shallowford Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30345.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Erling Grovenstein, Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Church Service

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Shallowford Presbyterian Church

2375 Shallowford Road, Atlanta, GA 30345

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Visitation

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Starts at 1:45 pm (Eastern time)

Shallowford Presbyterian Church

2375 Shallowford Road, Atlanta, GA 30345

A reception will follow the services in Shallowford's Heritage Hall

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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