Cover photo for Paul Daniel Fleming, III's Obituary
Paul Daniel Fleming, III Profile Photo
1943 Paul 2023

Paul Daniel Fleming, III

June 1, 1943 — April 2, 2023

Kalamazoo, MI

Paul who went by Dan died unexpectedly Sunday morning, April 2, 2023, at his home. He was born in Tampa, Florida, son of the late Paul D. and Margie (Bowman) Fleming, Jr.

Dan's passion for science and academia was evident from an early age. During middle school, he developed a keen interest in astronomy and planets, which eventually led him to pursue a career in molecular atomic physics. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics from Ohio State University in Columbus, OH in 1964, followed by a Master of Arts in Physics from Harvard University in Cambridge, MA in 1966. He went on to earn his Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Physics in 1970.

Dan had a distinguished career as a Professor of Chemical and Paper Engineering at Western Michigan University, where he served from 1996 until his passing. He also held positions as a Group Leader at GenCorp in Akron, OH from 1986 to 1996, a Senior Research Specialist at Phillips Petroleum in Bartlesville, OK from 1974 to 1986, a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Brown University in Providence, RI from 1971 to 1974, and a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Columbia University in New York, NY from 1970 to 1971.

Dan was widely recognized for his contributions to the field of chemical and paper engineering, with over 400 publications and his work cited over 4000 times. His 1976 publication "Molecular Theory of Surface Tension" is still cited today. He was a Technical Editor for the Society of Petroleum Engineers from 1974 to 1993 and was a member of the American Physical Society, Technical Association of the Graphic Arts, and Information Systems & Technology Marquis Who's Who.

Aside from his academic achievements, Dan was known for his love of working in the yard and watching sports. He also enjoyed spending time with his family, including his wife of 55 years, Mary Ellen (O'Donnell) Fleming, and their children Paul D. (Sybil) Fleming IV, Meredith (John) Canning, and Mark (Katie) Fleming, as well as his eight grandchildren, Shea, Pasha, Danny, Hunter, Sully, Drexel, Dean and Dezi.

Cremation has taken place, and a memorial service is being planned to honor Dr. Fleming's memory. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to a charitable cause of your choice in Dr. Fleming's name.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services in Kalamazoo, MI. To view Dr. Fleming's online tribute and share condolences with his family, please visit

Rest in peace, Professor Paul “Dan” Fleming III, your legacy in the field of science and education will be remembered forever. You will be greatly missed.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Paul Daniel Fleming, III, please visit our flower store.


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