Carl Kerfoot graduated from OSU in 1949 with a bachelor’s in chemisty and a minor in mathematics. He came to Oklahoma A&M because it allowed him more freedom to conduct lab experiments with a variety of equpiment. AFter college, he served in the Army during the Korean War.
Kerfoot was hired as one of the earliest researchers in the Conoco Chemicals Division in Ponca City, Okla, which later became Vista Chemical Company and eventually Sason Chemical Company. He retired in 1991 and remained in Ponca City with his wife, Joy.
At Conoco, Kerfoot and his coworkers became the first to develop a biodegradable laundry and dishwashing detergent material, holding 26 patents pertaining to the manufacture and use of synthetic detergent chemicals. He traveled throughout Asian and Europe to promote the new detergent chemical.
In 2010, the Kerfoots provided $75,000 to endow the Oliver C. and Joy P. Kerfoot Endowed Scholarship to benefit OSU chemistry students.