Francois and Violette Gilfillan

Francois and Violette Gilfillan Oral History Interview

Francois Gilfillan posing with a copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1961

Francois A. Gilfillan (January 12, 1893 - March 26, 1983)

Violette (Odekirk) Gilfillan (January 25, 1903 - April 25, 1985)

Francois Gilfillan was born on January 12, 1893, in Ninnekah, Oklahoma. He earned a degree in pharmacy from Oregon Agricultural College. He then entered into military service and then attended Yale University where he earned a chemistry Ph.D. Gilfillan returned to teach at Oregon State College, eventually becoming dean of science, a position he held for many years. For a little over one year, Gilfillan also served as interim president of OSC.

In addition to his role in the sciences at Oregon State, Gilfillan had a passion for the humanities and taught German and Russian intermittently throughout his career. He collected rare books, many of which he donated to the university. Gilfillan retired as dean of science in 1962 but continued to take part in the Oregon State University community. He died in 1983 at the age of 90.

Violette (Odekirk) Gilfillan was born in 1903 in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. She married Francois Gilfillan in 1928 and raised four children. She passed away in Corvallis in 1985.