Beards Funeral Chapel

855 S. Happy Hollow Road, Fayetteville, AR

Phone: 479-521-8551

George Donald Blyholder

Fayetteville, AR

1931 - 2013

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Published: February 27, 2013

George Donald Blyholder, 82, of Fayetteville, died Feb. 24, 2013, of natural causes. He was born Jan. 10, 1931, in Elizabeth, N.J., the son of Orlando and Lucy Ramsey Blyholder.

He grew up in Kansas City, Kan., and Chicago, Ill. He received a B.A. from Valparaiso University, a B.S. from Purdue University in chemical engineering and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Utah. While at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, he met and married Betty Sue Conrod. After graduation, he did post-doctoral work at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn., and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.

They moved to Fayetteville in 1959, when George took a position as a professor of chemistry at the University of Arkansas. He taught and did research at the university for 37 years until his retirement in 1996, publishing over 100 articles in noted scientific journals. He enjoyed an international reputation in surface science for having described a mechanism of action for the reaction between carbon monoxide and metal atoms on a metal surface. This method has often been cited in surface chemistry literature and is the currently accepted model to explain these reactions.

He was preceded in death by both his parents; and one brother, Robert Dean Blyholder of Chicago, Ill. Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Betty Sue Conrod; one sister, Mary Pauline Munck of Johnston, Iowa; two daughters, Sylvia Jean Ballerstein of Phelps, N.Y., and Victoria Elizabeth Bridges of Fort Collins, Colo.; one son, Andrew George Blyholder of Richmond, Calif.; three grandchildren, Amber Woodard of Maitland, Fla., Emma Bridges and Gregory Bridges of Fort Collins, Colo.; two great-grandchildren, Ashley Woodard and Evan Woodard, both of Maitland, Fla.; and many other family members and friends.

A memorial gathering will be held at the Hog Haus Brewery Company, 430 W. Dickson St. in Fayetteville at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. All are welcome to join the family in a celebration of his life.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the department of chemistry at the University of Arkansas.

Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Beard's Funeral Chapel.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

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