From Canada, we moved to New York where my father became Plant Manager for Uhlich Color Corp. Through the years he worked his way with luck and brains to become a leading shareholder and President of the company. It was a joyful time for us all and I remember fondly my summers watching him as I worked in the lab.
He taught me much and it reflects in my work life today. “I leave my desk and go to where the work is done. Not to oversee, but to know the names and lives of the people doing the work. I know who they are, who their families are, and where they are from. They are people, not tools. They are fathers and mothers, sons and daughters…not just a way to generate wealth for a few.”
After years of success, the tides shifted, but through this, he still loved his chemistry and sciences.
He went on to found ALESCO LLC with me in Tucson Arizona. We worked together for 5 years. He was smart, abstract, and eccentric. Together we worked to develop Larrea tridentata into a herbicide, reduce the number of processing steps in the transformation of Taxus Chinensis into Paclitaxel, extract natural colorings from grape marc and create uniquely modified speciality colorants.
In his waning years, on occasion, I would spend hours on the phone listening to his views on Time relative to Newtonian mechanics and Einstein’s theories. Mainly I just listened, as there is great value in listening for some and great comfort in talking for others. The content, its validity, or veracity was irrelevant.
He was my dad, a smart but challenging man whose love for chemistry flows through me into my child. I miss him. He leaves my mother, brother, wife, son Angus, and our extended families hoping he has a peaceful journey, whether as a wave or a particle or both through the universe.