Charles Storey Colbrun, Jr.

Charles Storey Colburn Jr.
Chemist Helped Develop Buffering Agent In Bufferin

posted March 6, 2005

Charles Storey Colburn Jr., 86, of Lookout Mountain, Tn., died Saturday, March 5, 2005.

He was born Aug. 28, 1918, in Chattanooga to Charles Storey Colburn and Ida Callaway Colburn. He attended Chattanooga schools and was graduated from the University of Chattanooga, where he was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. He also earned a master of science in chemistry from UT-Knoxville.

During World War II, he worked at Tennessee-Eastman of Kingsport as a development scientist.

In 1983, Mr. Colburn retired as engineer and technical director from Chattem, where he was employed for 38 years. He helped develop the buffering agent in Bufferin, and he worked on many other patent processes developed by Chattem. He taught as an adjunct instructor of chemistry for 20 years at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.


He earned a membership in Gamma Sigma Epsilon (honorary chemical fraternity). He was a member of the American Chemical Society (Chemist of the Year, 1980), The Torch Club of Chattanooga, the U.S. Power Squadron (secretary, education officer, lieutenant commander, Frank W. Jarnagin Memorial Award winner), the Chattanooga Music Club and the U.S.-China Friendship Association.

For many years he lent his tenor voice to the choir of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Lookout Mountain. He later attended Christ Church, Episcopal.

An enthusiastic traveler, he visited all continents except Antarctica, logging nearly 700,000 airline miles. A gifted raconteur, his hobbies included photography, astronomy, celestial navigation, writing, music, reading and gourmet cooking.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Garvin McMillin Colburn; three daughters, Ariel Florence Colburn of Nashville, Ida Cecilia Colburn of Lookout Mountain, and Rosemary Douglass Colburn Milburn and son-in-law, Jim Milburn, of Lookout Mountain; grandchildren, James Charles Milburn of Wilmington, N.C., and Marian Grace Milburn of Lookout Mountain, Tn., and sister-in-law, Marcia McMillin of Chattanooga.

A memorial service will be held at Christ Church, Episcopal, on Tuesday at 2 p.m. Visitation is at 1 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Christ Church, Episcopal, 663 Douglas St., the Chattanooga Community Kitchen, or to a favorite charity.

Arrangements are by Wann Funeral Home.

Submitted by Phebe Morgan