Obituary for Jean-Pierre Anselme
Professor Emeritus Jean-Pierre (J.-P.) Anselme, age 80, died on July 12, 2017 peacefully at home, surrounded by his family. J.-P. was born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti in 1936. While growing up in Haiti he lost his mother at the age of 12 but despite his loss he persevered to immigrate to the United States in 1955 to study Chemistry at Fordham University and later earn his Ph.D. from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute of New York in 1961. J.-P. was a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Massachusetts at Boston for over 43 years. He founded Organic Preparations and Procedures, Inc. (a chemical journal) and was Executive Editor until his passing. J.-P. was a mentor and an inspiration to many students who went on to successful careers in Chemistry and in other sciences including medicine. In 1980, he was awarded the Distinguished Immigrant Award from President Reagan representing Haiti for his important research in Chemistry.
J.-P. married Marie-Celine Carrie in 1960. Together they raised three wonderful daughters, Fabienne Madsen, Veronika Testa and Vanessa Anselme. He was a devoted and loving husband, father and grandfather. His family always came first. He loved his country and he had a passion for politics and sports (especially soccer). He was a prolific historian and had a deep passion for WWII history. He published over 100 publications including several chemistry books. He was captain and MVP of his college soccer team at Fordham University. He spent many years abroad in study (including Germany) and on sabbaticals (including Japan), working on a translation of one of his chemistry books.
J.-P. was a lover of dance often being caught dancing with his wife or one of his daughters to Big Band and Haitian music. One of his favorite music artists was Louis Armstrong. He was also known for his “Haitian Rum Punch” that he shared with friends and family. He especially enjoyed spending time at his Cape Cod home where he would love having his entire family take over the house while he worked in his office editing “the journal”. He loved watching the grandchildren enjoy the pool even though he never joined in the fun because he did not know how to swim. His grandchildren would often tease him saying that he should know how to swim because he was from a Caribbean island. He also loved family outings including trips to apple picking.
He held strong beliefs and loved to engage in lively conversation and debates. He will be remembered for his sense of humor, which brought levity to all situations and his ebullient spirit will always be with us.
Although he loved his adopted country America, he was forever mindful of the sad and tragic situation in Haiti. Thus his favorite charity was an organization that supported Haitian orphaned children known as “Love-A-Child”.
J.-P. is survived by his wife, Marie-Celine, his three daughters, Fabienne A. Madsen and her husband Carl S. Madsen, Veronika Testa and her husband Gregory A. Testa and Vanessa and her fiancé Mark Mooney, and his four grandchildren, Peter Madsen, Matthew Testa, John Madsen and Julianne Testa.