I was born in 1941 in London, England, and after primary education at Streatham Grammar School attended Alleyns School from 1952-1958. I then worked for one year (1958-1959) for the British Oxygen Company as a Chemical Technician. I attended the Royal College of Science in South Kensington, London, from 1959-1962 and graduated a month before my 21st birthday with a B.Sc. degree in chemistry. I emigrated to the United States in September 1962 and studied at the University of Maryland from 1962-1967. My Ph.D. degree in physical-inorganic chemistry from the University of Maryland was awarded in 1967. My Ph.D. thesis reported the molecular structure of an organometallic platinum compound as determined by x-ray crystallography.
In 1967-1968 I taught at the Bullis School in Silver Spring. Maryland. In 1968-1969 I worked with FMC Corporation in New Jersey in the field of the industrial applications of hydrogen peroxide. I moved to Roanoke, Virginia, in 1969 with my first wife and two daughters. In Roanoke, I was successively Professor of Chemistry at Virginia Western Community College (1969-1978) and Vice-president of Research and Development at Wen-Don Chemical Corporation (1980-1986). Wen-Don was a producer of specialty chemical products, and particularly such products for the coal industry. I spent the academic year 1978-1979 as visiting Professor of Chemistry at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. I became Director of General Chemistry at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg in 1986 and that year moved from Roanoke to Blacksburg. I retired from Virginia Tech as Emeritus Associate Professor of Chemistry in February, 2004. Across my chemistry career I was the author of 35 professional chemical publications, five patents, and a chemistry text book (General Chemistry for Engineers, editions in 2001, 2003, and 2004).
In retirement, I have made a second career as an independent scholar of history and archeology focusing on the prehistory and pre-1800 history of Southwest Virginia. My regularly updated list of Publications and Presentations made in my encore career is on line at http://www.holstonia.net/files/Publist.pdf
I became an American citizen on 4 July 1972 in Roanoke and am married to Deena Flinchum, a Wytheville, Virginia, native. Deena moved to Blacksburg after retiring in 2002 and has made her own highly successful encore career as a volunteer specializing in the complex issues of health care insurance for the elder community.