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John Smegal

John Smegal

January 28, 1957 - February 1, 2019
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SPRUCE HEAD, ME - John A. Smegal, 62, died of cancer, Friday, February 1, 2019 at his beloved home in Spruce Head.

John was one of four children of John E. and Assunta T. (Arci) Smegal and was raised in Farrell, a small town in western Pennsylvania. At a young age John fell in love with chemistry and, inspired by his high school chemistry teacher, went on to earn a B.S. degree at Penn State University in 1978 and a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley in 1983. After a post-doctoral appointment at Princeton University he joined the Shell Development Company in the Catalysis Department in Houston, TX in 1985. John enjoyed a very fulfilling and successful 30 year career at Shell where he developed more than twenty catalysts for use in the refining and petrochemical industry and received more than thirty patents worldwide. He retired to Maine in 2015 with his spouse James S. Zoller. John and James met in Houston in 1993 but eventually discovered and fell in love with Maine in 2001, deciding to make it their part time and then full time home. They were married in Maine in 2013.

John had many interests outside of chemistry and science including the repair and restoration of antique clocks and was a member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors since 1986. He was also an avid book collector and specialized in first editions of science fiction and detective fiction among other topics. As a member of the Knox Reading Circle he also enjoyed reading American history.

John is survived by his husband of 26 years, James S. Zoller and their two dogs, Abby and Stella, his three sisters, Christine Sakonyi of Hermitage, PA, Susan May and her husband Robert of West Middlesex, PA and Mary Ann Reynolds and her husband Jeff of Hermitage, PA. Also, two sisters-in-law, Deborah Reile and her husband Larry of Lake Hills, TX and Susan Granzin and her husband Miles of New Braunfels, TX and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

John’s wishes were to not have a service but for those so inclined, contributions to your local animal shelter and/or library in his honor would be greatly appreciated.

Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland.
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Posted at 08:59pm
With deepest sympathy,
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Dan Villalanti

Posted at 11:14am
John was a friend and member of our monthly Friday night inflation Poker group. I have nothing but fond memories of John's kind demeanor and respect for all colleagues. He will be in our prayers and thoughts. God bless you Johnny.

Jonathan Smith

Posted at 11:02am
Such an amazing and caring person!
I met John many years ago thru his husband Jim.
Great memories and laughs which will always be remembered!
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, LOVE leaves a memory no one can steal.

Much love,
Jon Smith

Robert Stanfield

Posted at 10:59am
I worked in the same department with John for several years early in my career. John was one our the nicest people I ever met. So sorry to hear of his passing at so young an page. My sincere condolences to his friends and family.

Tom and Kim Smegal

Posted at 10:52pm
So sorry to hear of John passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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