Dr. Ray Clifford Christena, 86, of Cherokee Village died Jan. 12, 2002, at Ash Flat Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Born Aug. 17, 1915, in Indianapolis, Ind., he was the son of Clifford Christena and Marie Ayers Christena. He married Patricia Bedwell Feb. 16, 1947.
He graduated from the University of Texas in Austin, Texas with a bachelor's degree in chemistry and mathematics in August of 1939. He graduated from the New York University in Bronx, N.Y. with a bachelor's degree in September of 1942. At this same time he was an Air Force Meteorologist and held the rank of First Lieutenant. He graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., with a master's degree in atomic physics and chemistry in August of 1948. He received his doctoral degree in chemistry in February of 1951 from Indiana University.
In 1949 he worked part time for the University of Wisconsin where he had a research fellowship for six months. In 1956 and 1957 he was at Brooklyn Polytech in Brooklyn, N.Y.; from 1959 through 1961 he was at Temple University in Philadelphia and also at the University of South Carolina, Indiana University, the University of Salt Lake City, and the University of Missouri at Columbia, Mo.
After receiving his Ph.D he worked as a research chemist for DuPont from 1951 through 1958. He worked as a supervisor and as part of a research group for Thiokol Chemical Corporation from 1958 until 1963. During this time he received five patents on missile fuel. He worked in research for Celanese Corporation from 1963 until 1966 and held one patent which was licensed and patented in 43 countries.
He was a research group leader in Wichita, Kan. from 1967 until retirement in 1980. During this time Dr. Christena held seven patents in polymers and polychlorinated phenols. He was the inventor of High Polymer Emulsion with patents in 41 countries. This fuel is still used today in the minuteman missile.
Dr. Christena was also an artist and a member of the Strawberry River Art Association. He was a weather watcher for KAIT8 in Jonesboro. He belonged to the 9th Bombers Group of the 131th bomb wing of the 13th Air Force of the United States Army Air Corp. He was also a member of the American Legion.
He moved here with his wife, Pat, 20 years ago from Wichita. He was of the Methodist faith.
Survivors include his wife, Pat; two sons -- John M. Christena of Flint, Mich., and James Ray Christena of Wichita; three daughters -- Julia A. McFall of Centennial, Colo., Anna Marie Roedel of Highland Ranch, Colo., and Mary L. Paulsen of Heston, Kan; 12 grandchildren; four step-grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be Jan. 18 at Tri-County's Cherokee Chapel in Highland with the Rev. Johnnie M. Williams officiating.
Arrangements are under the direction of Tri-County's Cherokee Chapel of Highland.
Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association.