Dr Howard Tracy Hall

Dr Howard Tracy Hall

Birth
Ogden, Weber County, Utah, USA
Death 25 Jul 2008 (aged 88)
Provo, Utah County, Utah, USA
Burial Provo, Utah County, Utah, USA
Plot Block 19, Lot 17B
Memorial ID 28556744 · View Source
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H. Tracy Hall, the father of man-made industrial diamond, passed away at his home early on the morning of July 25, 2008. He was 88 years of age. He resided at 1711 North Lambert Lane (600 East) in Provo, Utah at the time of his death.


Howard Tracy Hall was born on October 20, 1919, in Ogden, Utah, to Howard Hall and Florence Almina Tracy. As a young man Tracy roamed the fields of Marriott, Utah, read avidly at the Ogden Carnegie Library, and assembled home-made contraptions from junk-yard components. As a fourth grader he told his teacher he would someday work for General Electric, the company so closely associated with his hero, inventor Thomas Edison. While a student at the University of Utah in 1941, Tracy married his sweetheart, Ida-Rose Langford. After completing his B.S. and then an M.S. in chemistry in 1943, he served for two years as a Navy ensign. Returning to the University of Utah in 1946, he became Henry J. Eyring's first graduate student, receiving his PhD in 1948. Two months later he started work at the General Electric Research Laboratory in Schenectady, NY. At GE, Tracy joined a team focused on synthesizing diamond in the laboratory.


On December 16, 1954, he became the first person to produce diamond from carbon using a verifiable and reproducible process. Of the experience Tracy later recalled: "My eyes caught the flashing light from dozens of tiny crystals. My hands began to tremble; my heart beat rapidly; my knees weakened and no longer gave support. I knew that diamonds had finally been made by man." Dr. Hall became Director of Research at Brigham Young University in 1955, and over his 30 years at BYU, became a highly regarded professor of chemistry and mentor of many graduate students. During that time he also invented the tetrahedral and cubic presses which allowed him to continue his research in the field of high pressure. In 1966, Dr. Hall partnered with two BYU professors, Bill Pope and Duane Horton, to form Megadiamond, a company that manufactures diamond products for industrial applications. Many other diamond-producing companies, based on Dr. Hall's inventions, have emerged worldwide; and a large variety of man-made diamond products are used throughout all of industry. In his personal life, Tracy was a kind and devoted husband and father. One of his greatest joys was serving as a bishop of the Provo Utah Pleasant View First Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bishop Hall counseled and served youth and adult members daily with the same diligence he had shown in earlier days when called upon to help build a chapel or dig dandelions from its lawn. Tracy and Ida-Rose later served a full-time mission to Zimbabwe and South Africa (1982-83) and often recalled the joy of that experience. In his retirement, Dr. Hall returned to his farming roots and spent his days working hard at his tree farm in Payson, Utah. During recent years, Tracy suffered the effects of long-term diabetes and advancing age. He was cared for by his wife Ida-Rose until her death in 2005, and by his daughter, Nancy, and other devoted caretakers.


He is survived by four brothers, Eugene M. (Joyce Hansen, dec.), Wendell H. (Merrill E.), Donald R. (D. Louise), and Delbert (L. Carlyn Henshaw, dec.); seven children, Sherlene (Daniel R. Bartholomew), H. Tracy (Helen Gardner Van Orman), David R. (Karen VanDyke), Elizabeth (J. Martin Neil), Virginia (Barry D. Wood), Charlotte (Bryan Y. Weight), Nancy (Douglas A. Mecham); daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Huntington Hall; 35 grandchildren; and 53 great-grandchildren. Tracy was preceded in death by his wife, Ida-Rose (March 7, 2005), and a daughter-in-law, Donna Rae Coy Hall (Sept. 23, 1970).


Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wed., July 30, 2008 at the Pleasant View 1st Ward Chapel, 650 East Stadium Avenue (2000 North), Provo, Utah. A Viewing will be held on Tuesday evening from 6-8 p.m. at Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street, Orem, Utah and from 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m., at the Pleasant View 1st Ward Chapel prior to the Funeral Services.
Published in the Deseret News from 7/27/2008 - 7/29/2008.


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  • Created by: Ryan D. Curtis
  • Added: 27 Jul 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 28556744
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dr Howard Tracy Hall (20 Oct 1919–25 Jul 2008), Find A Grave Memorial no. 28556744, citing Provo City Cemetery, Provo, Utah County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Ryan D. Curtis (contributor 46858513) .