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In Memoriam

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Warren W. Wolf, 1941–2014

 

 

The Society learned with sorrow that former president Warren W. Wolf died Friday, April 25, from head injuries suffered earlier this month. Wolf, of New Albany, Ohio, was 72 years old.

 

Wolf served as ACerS president from May 2005–October 2006—the longest term in modern times—as a result of the transition of the Annual Meeting from May to October to align with MS&T.

 

His succession through the three presidential offices (president-elect nominee, president-elect, and president) coincided with a precarious time at the Society. Glenn Harvey, Society executive director from 2003–2006, says, “The Society (in 2003) was in worse financial shape than people realized. Warren was one of only a few industry people on the Board at the time, and he understood the business and financial aspects of the situation.”

 

The Board took several bold steps to address the financial crisis, such as “right-sizing” the facilities and entering into publishing partnerships, during which, Harvey says, “Warren was the backbone in the transitions that were taking place.”

 

“I have always regarded Warren as one of the truly great presidents of ACerS because of his service to the Society at a time of maximum need,” adds David Pye, also a former ACerS president.

 

By 2005, Wolf reported in a Bulletin interview that the Society had retired all of its debt and had a “bottom line…even further in the black than projected.” The newfound fiscal stability allowed Wolf to implement the Society’s 2005–2010 strategic plan, which included taking advantage of emerging opportunities, promoting ACerS’ value to corporations and students, reinvigorating the Bulletin and its Editorial Advisory Board, and starting two new events. Those events remain active today—the International Conference on Ceramic Interconnect & Ceramic Microsystems Technologies, and the first International Congress on Ceramics.

 

The Society made what Wolf called “two major, future-setting decisions” during his tenure: establishment of the Ceramics Publishing Company to serve the art ceramics community, and investment in web-based infrastructure to create and power ceramics.org. Charlie Spahr, ACerS executive director, says these were pivotal decisions. “These two decisions enabled the Society and CPC to grow and thrive and serve the information needs of our members and customers,” he says.

 

Wolf had a keen understanding of the relationship between industry and academia, and Pye credits him with leading the effort to establish a NSF Center for Glass Research at the College of Ceramics at Alfred University. In addition, he served on advisory boards at Virginia Tech and Ohio State University. His commitment to education and the Society was on the verge of taking a new direction. According to Spahr, “The Society was a passion of his, and Warren was just beginning to help with our Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation. His experience and wise counsel will be missed.”

 

Wolf earned his BS in ceramic engineering from Pennsylvania State University, PhD from Ohio State University, and MBA from Xavier University. He spent 33 years at Owens Corning, joining the company in 1968 as a senior scientist at the Science and Technology Center in Granville, Ohio. He retired in August 2001 as vice president and chief scientist of science and technology, after having held a succession of research and management positions.

 

An innovative scientist, he holds 15 patents in the area of glass fiber manufacturing processes and compositions. Wolf’s research into understanding the human health issues relating to glass fibers in lung tissue led the International Association on Research in Cancer to reverse its opinion and remove biosoluble glass fibers from its list of possible carcinogens. The glass industry recognized this work and his leadership in glass science with the Phoenix Award at a gala celebration in 2006.

 

Harvey says Wolf had “an unusual combination of an extremely strong technical and scientific background blended with a strong grasp of business.” He generously applied these gifts to the benefit of the global glass and ceramics community as a contributor to the Glass Manufacturers Industry Council, the International Commission on Glass, the International Ceramics Federation, and the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers.

 

“Warren’s leadership will always be remembered for clarity of thought and expression, integrity, and above all, wisdom to see the way forward in matters before him,” Pye says.

 

David Green, ACerS president, speaking on behalf of all, says, “The Society extends its heartfelt condolences to Warren’s family. Much of the success the Society enjoys today traces back to his leadership, not just as president, but also as a leader in industry. Those of us who had the honor to work with him will miss his insight, vision, and passion for the Society.”

 

Wolf is survived by his wife Linda, seven children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

 

 

The following deceased ACerS members are organized as their information is received.

 

Warren W. Wolf

 

J. Lambert Bates

 

Robert W. Richards

 

Marija Kosec

 

Leslie J. Bowen

 

Irv Gower

 

Matthew Kerper

 

Thomas J. Mroz

 

Alan Searcy

 

Irvin F. Havens

 

C. Rogers Westlake

 

Torstein Utigard

 

William “Bill” Bates

 

John A. Cable

 

Reldon Cooper

 

Charles J. Deignan Sr.

 

Robert Hatch

 

Coy L. Huffine

 

Gordon H. Johnson

 

Lyle E. Shoot

 

Seymour A. Bortz

 

Gian Nicola Babini (former president of International Ceramic Federation, the European Ceramic Society and organizer of ICC2)

 

Andre Ezis

 

Henry M. O’Bryan Jr.

 

Jules Routbort

 

Eva Zeisel (honory member)

 

Gary Schlager

 

Harrison Corbin Van Cott

 

Alan Franklin

 

Wendell S. Williams

 

Robert C. Weedy

 

Roy Victor Harrington

 

Robert L. Snyder

 

Russell L. Yeckley

 

Charles Venable Jr.

 

G. S. Dhami

 

 

Fennimore Nelson Bradley

 

Roy W. Rice

 

Gunter Hermann

 

John Randall Wheeler

 

Tsuneharu Ogasawara

 

Elizabeth “Beth” Judson

 

Yoshiro Harada

 

James Dean Welterlen

 

Rustum Roy

 

Roy E. Gorton Sr.

 

Osgood James Whittemore

 

George Kepka

 

George C. Steer

 

Robert J. Long

 

Jay Comeforo

 

Norman K. Russell

 

William Brown

 

Kenneth Lawrence “Larry” Stover

 

Frederick F. Lange

 

Winston Duckworth

 

Charles Bachman

 

David R. Watson

 

James G. Gibson

 

John S. Haggerty

 

Robert K. Longritz

 

Francis (Fritz) W. Henry

 

James J. Mattis

 

Richard Renskers

 

Silas Larson

 

James V. Jones

 

Anthony G. Evans

 

Peter J. Hoagland

 

L.W. Coughanour

 

Stephan Mitoff

 

J. Walter Szymaszek

 

Robert Newnham

 

David W. Kellerman

 

Randall C. Ragan

 

Janet B. Quinn

 

Basil G. Staples

 

Walter Bennett

 

Edward P. Schauss

 

Henry Paul Kirchner

 

Carlton H. Hogue

 

Edgar Ronald Tostevin

 

Alfred Dube

 

Megumi Tashiro

 

Ronald Stanton Gordon

 

Robert H. Doremus

 

John “Jay” P. Gleason Jr

 

Helmut Franz

 

Please contact Eileen De Guire with questions or to provide a notice or update.


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