Coyner Bayley Graf



Coyner Bayley Graf died in San Diego, Calif., on March 23, 2008, at the age of 23. He was the son of Dr. Joseph L. Graf, a geologist and former Dean of Sciences at Southern Oregon University, and Dr. Sandra J. Coyner, former Director of Honors and Colloquium and women's studies faculty at S.O.U. Both parents are retiring from S.O.U. in 2008.



Coyner moved to Ashland, Ore., with his parents from Manhattan, Kans., in 1995. He graduated from Ashland High School in 2002 and cum laude from S.O.U. in 2006, with an Honors degree in ACS Biochemistry. In 2007 he worked in San Diego for Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc.



The light of Coyner's life was Chemistry, especially NMR spectroscopy. Inspired by teachers at Ashland High School, he took three years of chemistry before graduating, including AP chemistry. At S.O.U., he took organic chemistry as a freshman and earned departmental awards in chemistry and French. This background qualified him for a 2004 summer internship in chemistry research at the Universite de Poitiers, France, and for his position as Senior Research Associate at Ligand, where he was responsible for maintaining instruments (NMR and others) and supporting research and testing in the company's Medical Chemistry Division. His research at S.O.U. contributed to two professional publications and one professional presentation.



This young man loved chemistry, San Diego (especially its freeways, polite rush-hour drivers, palm trees, and climate), all good food and wine, driving his own car, looking good, mountain biking, idea-laden discussions, his music, computers, high-end electronics, and his friends and family, not necessarily in that order. His tremendous promise and potential was tragically cut short in defiance of the hopes and expectations of the family, friends, teachers, and coworkers who loved him and remember his zest for life with great sorrow for this senseless loss.



Coyner Graf is survived by his parents; grandfather, also a chemist, Dr. Eugene C. Coyner, of El Cerrito, Calif.; aunt, Sharon Coyner and family, of Cheshire, Conn; uncle, Martin Coyner, of Alameda, Calif.; and his many friends.



A remembrance of Coyner Graf's life and celebration of the community that honors it will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 4, 2008, at the Historic Voorhies Mansion (Eden Vale Winery), 2310 Voorhies Road, Medford.



In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Coyner Bayley Graf Endowed Scholarship at the S.O.U. Foundation, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, OR 97520.