Mary Margaret Lally Huston

    September 2005:

    Mary Margaret Lally HustonEvery month a member of the Women's Chemist Committee is asked to choose a female chemist that they would like to write an article about for the Chemical Bulletin. Here is a second article of someone special who has made me and many others feel welcome when they joined the Chicago Section.

    Mary Margaret Lally was born 1921 on the south side of Chicago. She attended Aquinas High School and earned a four-year scholarship to Rosary College. She completed her B.S. in chemistry in 1942. Upon graduation, she went to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This would have been enough for most of us, but Ms. Lally went on to earn her M.S. in chemistry from Loyola University in 1956. This was not easy, since she completed this while working full time, taking classes in the late afternoon and Saturdays.

    Soon after receiving her M.S., Margaret Lally married Professor John Huston of Loyola University. Mrs. Huston continued her long and distinguished career in the food industry. Some of her research included problems associated with the salmonella bacteria. This research was done in cooperation with the Federal Center for Disease Control. For many years, she was a Chief Chemist for the Egg and Poultry Products Association. Mrs. Huston helped establish standards for poultry plants throughout the U.S. and received international recognition for this achievement. This led to invitations from the governments and poultry industries of Spain and Germany to lecture and consult on salmonella control in the poultry processing industry. Much of the QC practiced in the industry is due to her input.

    Mrs. Huston went on to work for private industry as the principal scientist for a food manufacturer. After her retirement, she continued to consultant for the food industry.

    Margaret Huston's talent did not end there; to many of us we will always remember her for her dedicated work for the Chicago Section. Margaret Lally Huston was the second woman to chair of the Chicago Section (1980). She has served the Section in many other capacities including vice-chair, treasurer, director and both alternate councilor and councilor. Her committee work has included Bylaws, Long Range Planning, Nominating, Policy, Tellers, National ACS Meeting, Employment, Gibbs Arrangement, Hospitality, Chemical Bulletin Editorial, Distinguished Service Award, Chicago School Board Liaison and others. Mrs. Huston earned the Distinguished Service Award from the Chicago Section in 1992.

    She has also been very active in her church. She served 15 years as a coordinator for the Ministry of Care at St. Peter's Catholic Church until the year 2000. Mrs. Huston enjoyed traveling with her husband John Huston until his death in 2003. Today, she remains a vital and active member of her community and church.

    From time to time, many of us get to see her at a Section event. I had a chance to talk to her as I was putting this article together. Just as she was when I joined the Section, she was warm and friendly and willing to catch up on the news of old acquaintances. She tells me she reads the Chemical Bulletin monthly to keep up with what is happening in the Section. Like other women of the Section, she will remain a strong role model for young women to follow. I know I am glad to have had a chance to meet and know her.

    — Written by Fran Kravitz