Chadron State College
Chadron State College

Services scheduled for longtime chemistry professor

September 21, 2012

James McCafferty
James McCafferty

Funeral services for longtime Chadron State College professor James McCafferty of Whitney will be Saturday, Sept. 22, at 2 p.m. at the United Methodist Church of Chadron.

McCafferty, died Tuesday, Sept. 18, at Ponderosa Villa in Crawford, three days before his 85th birthday.

McCafferty, who retired from CSC in 1990, taught courses in chemistry, as well as astronomy, a forensic science laboratory, and other courses in the physical sciences.

A native of Alliance, McCafferty completed a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from CSC in 1951 and a master’s degree in secondary science and mathematics education in 1961. When McCafferty joined the CSC student body in the fall of 1944, the school’s male population increased 20 percent. That’s because World War II had depleted the institution’s enrollment to 48 students, just five of whom were men.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army in October 1946, just five days before the draft was called off. He spent 31 months in the Army, most of it as a chemist for the medical and chemical corps in Alaska. After returning and earning a degree, he farmed for seven years. He earned teaching credentials in 1957 and took a job at Hemingford High School the following January. He began teaching at CSC in 1960 after completing his master’s degree.

In April 1997, McCafferty was officially named a “Friend of the College” for his work in helping the college after retirement. Also, in 1989, he was a regional winner of the Federal Aviation Administration’s “championship awards for excellence in aviation administration.” He directed an aerospace education workshop each summer, and worked to establish an aviation education resource center at CSC.

He also directed the college’s Upward Bound program from 1967 through 1974.

He is survived by his wife, Naomi, three sons, one daughter and six grandchildren. More information can be found by reading his obituary online. Thoughts and memories can be shared at the Chamberlain Chapel website.

—Justin Haag, CSC Information Services