James Frederick Schooley

August 24, 1931 ~ April 18, 2020 (age 88)


Dr. James Frederick Schooley, born August 1931, the son of Robert and Margaret Schooley of Auburn, Indiana passed away on April 18, 2020. Dr. Schooley was an internationally recognized scientist with a long and distinguished career at NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology.)

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Mary Alice, six living children, James Schooley, Jr. (Dee), Therese Schooley, Robert Schooley, Mary Beth Johnson (Steve), Meg Leaf (Brian) and Kathleen Langan (Dan), 13 grandchildren and 4 great-grand children. He was predeceased by his son, Michael Schooley.

Dr. Schooley, also known as Red, Fireball, and Big Jim throughout his life, remained in Auburn through high school playing basketball, graduating with top academic honors, and winning the prestigious Arthur Trester Award for exceptional mental attitude, leadership, scholarship and athletic ability.

He attended Indiana University where he continued his beloved basketball career - he was a fiercely loyal Hoosier for his entire life - including participating on the 1953 NCAA championship team. During that time, he also served as the unofficial tutor for the other players. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1953 with a degree in Chemistry.

He began dating Mary Alice in their senior year and they married after graduation. James joined the Air Force and served for four years, which provided him the opportunity to earn his Masters and PhD degrees in Nuclear Chemistry from UC Berkeley.

Dr. Schooley chose a career in government service specializing in Low -Temperature Physics. During his 30 years at NIST his research produced valuable international temperature data, including over 100 publications. Dr. Schooley was awarded the US Department of Commerce Silver and Gold medals (1968 & 1979) for his research that helped to establish the International Temperature Scale. In 1982 and 1992 he was chosen as Editor in Chief for the Journals to be created following the International Temperature Symposiums.

Since settling in Maryland in 1960, Dr. Schooley and Mary Alice lived in Kensington, Darnestown, and finally Braddock Heights, MD. They loved Darnestown especially, where they had a small farm, raised 7 children, tended to numerous animals, enjoyed organic gardening, and were extremely active volunteers in many civic and community affairs. Dr. Schooley considered himself blessed to have had such a full, good, and long life. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Dr. Schooley has been cremated and will be inurned at a later time when it is possible to have a memorial service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dr. Schooley's name to a charity of your choice.

 The family would appreciate you taking the time to share a memory on his tribute wall.

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Services are to be announced

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