Paul A. Lachance
The Rev. Dr. Paul A. Lachance, 83, who was internationally recognized for his ground-breaking work at NASA and his role imposing the HACCP food management system on the food industry and who spent 40 years as a Rutgers professor, passed away on January 21, 2017, in the McCarrick Care Center, Somerset.
A Funeral Mass will be offered on January 28 at Saint Paul's Church, Princeton. Lachance will be entombed in a mausoleum at Holy Cross Burial Park, East Brunswick.
Early in his career, Lachance was responsible for research and development of aerospace flight food and astronaut nutrition at the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston. Among other things, he contracted with the U.S. Army Natick Labs to provide the first food specifications and hazard criteria for astronaut food. He wrote the requirements for the Gemini and Apollo food systems which all contractors had to meet.
Lachance had set aside an offer to teach at Rutgers while serving at NASA. After having signed off on all food specifications for the Apollo program, he joined Rutgers’ Food Science Department faculty, earning full professor status in 1972. He served as the major advisor to more than 60 doctoral and master’s degree recipients.
Lachance was the founding and emeritus director of the Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods Institute of the Center for Advanced Food Technology. He was professor emeritus of food science since 2005. He served as chair of the Department of Food Science, director of the graduate program in food science, faculty representative to the Board of Trustees and Board of Governors, and chair of the University Senate. His work as the executive director of the Nutraceutical Institute was a ground-breaking partnership between Rutgers and Saint Joseph’s University.
He is survived by his wife, Thérèse C.; four children and their spouses/partners, Carole Lachance, Patti Malinowski Jensen, Amy LaChance, and Philip Shih; a sister, Gloria; a brother, Richard; and nine grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, send donations to the John C. Hartnett Endowment, established in 2000 by the Lachances to honor professor emeritus John C. Hartnett (’43) for his dedication to excellence in teaching and his influence on biology and other students at Saint Michael’s College: Saint Michael’s College, Box 256, One Winooski Park, Colchester, Vermont, 05439. Gifts can also be made online at: www.smcvt.edu/giveback.
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