Andre Ezis, a loving father, husband and friend, who built his prosperous life from humble beginnings, used his intellect, ambition and drive to create a brilliant life full of love. At the pinnacle of his life, he was abruptly taken from this world on Feb., 2012, when he was only 67 years of age.
Ezis was born in Latvia on Nov. 29, 1943, and as an infant, he, his mother, and his father were forced to leave their home in order to protect themselves from impending invasion by Russian forces. His brother, Ilmar, and sister, Gunta, were later born and as a family they faced much turmoil, which included spending five years in a displaced persons camp in Kempten, Germany. This began their long journey to reach America, the country Andre so dearly loved.
Ezis and his family reached America in 1949 with the help of the Lutheran church. As a family they worked vigorously as farmhands in North Baltimore, Ohio, for three years in order to pay their fare from Germany. This experience impressed upon Ezis a want for success and a work ethic that allowed him to accomplish greatness and realize the American dream. Ezis and his family settled in Findlay, Ohio, and he graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in ceramic engineering and a masters degree in nuclear engineering. After graduating, he worked at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Mich., as an engineer and was recognized twice with the Henry Ford Technological award for his ceramic turbine engine work.
Even though his position there was secure, Ezis wanted to experience the “real” American dream and quit his job to start his first company, Cercom, and later invested in Pyromatics, of which he became the CEO. During his career, he made many advances in the field of ceramic engineering, with over 49 patents. These accomplishments were recognized by Ohio State University in 2009, when he was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Throughout the years, even though he was a dedicated business man, his real passion was family.
Ezis had two children, Katie and Jenna, with his first wife, Nancy. In California, he lived out his days with his wife Kira and his children Hakon, Andrea and his youngest and best child, the author of this obituary, Katrina (not to be confused with the hurricane). He recently welcomed two grandchildren to the world, Noah and Delaney.
He and Kira ran a small farm, raising goats and growing pomegranates, bamboo, dragonfruit, and cherimoya. He was certified as an artisian cheesemaker. Ezis loved to spend time wandering around the Wild Animal Park with his children in tow, telling them stories of his pet raccoon Peppie and their whimsical adventures. He loved college football, especially his Ohio State Buckeyes. He instilled in his children a fierce competitive nature with games such as Call Box, played on otherwise mindless road trips. He always encouraged them to become their best selves with guidance and support. He never skipped a beat in helping his children learn new SAT words, doing homework, or taking them out to perfect their layups. He never thought twice about helping a friend in need or giving much needed guidance to a child who was unsure about their path. Even with his financial success, he always kept mindful of the value of the dollar, clipping coupons and always finding great bargains. Though he loved to spark debates about politics and made sure his point was known. He always put a smile on the faces of those around him with his wry sense of humor and quirky smile. He always helped others realize their full potential and pushed them towards the brightest future. He was a great man who left many loving memories and will be sorely missed.
There will also be a memorial at Ohio State University, which is tentatively scheduled for April 19, 2012. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Andre Ezis Memorial Scholarship Fund, which will give financial support to distinguished students in the field of ceramic engineering at Ohio State University. For more information about the fund, please email Kira Ezis or mail checks made out to the fund to 663 Rolling Hills Rd., Vista, Calif., 92081.
(Obituary and photo courtesy of the Andre Ezis website.)