Richard F. Grossman, who throughout his career worked for Anaconda Wire and Cable Co., Polymer Services Inc., Polysar Corp. and the Hammond Group, died last month at the age of 86.
Grossman was born in Romania in 1934 and was the only child of Alexander and Betty Grossman. As the political and social landscape became more dangerous for Jewish families, the Grossmans left behind their home and arrived in New York, where they made a new home in the Bronx and Queens.
As a child, Grossman attended the Kohut School and later attended Far Rockaway High School where he excelled in academics and completed his studies two years ahead of schedule.
After high school, Grossman attended Cornell University where he majored in pre-med. After attending a biology class that included an assignment to dissect a cat, he switched majors, focusing instead on chemistry with an English literature minor. He left school briefly to serve during the Korean War, but returned to finish his studies and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in June of 1955.
It was at Cornell where Grossman met his first wife, Martha L. Snitker. They were married from the early 1960s until the late 1970s.
After Cornell, Grossman attended Harvard University for a short time, but returned home to help care for his family after his father became too ill to continue working. Grossman worked to support his family until his father could retire, at which time his parents moved to Florida.
That was when Grossman returned to his studies, this time attending Purdue University where he eared a doctorate in chemistry.
Throughout his career, Grossman held many patents and was an active member of Polymer Modifiers and Additives Division of the Society of Polymer Engineers. He also served as a consultant and was an witness in cases involving technical aspects of polymers including a high profile case regarding hanging chads created by election equipment in Florida in 2000.
Grossman met and married his second wife Christiane W. Foley from the mid-1990s. Until her death in 2011, they enjoyed traveling, taking cruises. They also shared a love for the arts, often attending classical music and dance performances.
Grossman had a passion for reading and was known for his charismatic personality, expansive communication skills and sense of humor.
He is survived by his children Allen (Kelly) Grossman, and Jana (Henry) Nakata and his grandchildren Alex, Mark, Victoria, Matthew, Alyssa, Michael and Olivia.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The National Endowment for the Arts, 400 7th Street, S.W., Washington D.C., 20506.