John J. Eisch, Ph.D.
John “Jack” Joseph Eisch, PhD, 88, died suddenly at his home in Vestal, N.Y., on June 29, 2019.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Joan (Scheuerell) Eisch, whom he first met in kindergarten; three daughters, Karla Eisch of Vestal, N.Y., Paula Cichon and her husband Doug of Loudonville, N.Y, and Amelia Eisch, Ph.D. and her husband Shae Padrick, Ph.D. of Swarthmore; his son, Joseph Eisch and his wife Robin of Silver Spring, Md.; two grandchildren, Taylor Anne Cichon and Zachary Eisch Padrick; and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his parents, Frank and Gladys (Riordan) Eisch, his daughter, Margy, and his sisters, Beverly Hanley and June Hinich.
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, John received a B.S. from Marquette University (summa cum laude, 1952), and a Ph.D. from Iowa State University in Chemistry (1956). He won a Union Carbide Postdoctoral Fellowship to work with Karl Ziegler at the Max Planck Institution in Mulheim, Germany (1956), and at European Research Associates in Brussels (1957). He was a faculty member at St. Louis University, University of Michigan, and Catholic University.
Professor Eisch was hired at Binghamton University (then called SUNY Binghamton) in 1972 as chairman of the Chemistry Department, and became Distinguished Professor in 1983. Over his 40-year career, he graduated 50 Ph.D. students, trained scores of other students, published 400 scientific articles, and served as expert witness in patent litigations. He was a demanding teacher but took pride in students that performed well.
In his personal life, Jack was extremely sharp-witted and humorous, much to the relief of his close family members. He enjoyed reading, languages (particularly German), and — earlier in life — walking and travel. In his retirement at age 83, he remained an active supporter of the Chemistry Department at Binghamton University. Recently he followed the U.S. political scene closely, which caused him great distress, but his dogs (Ursi and Schatzi) were excellent antidotes.
A funeral Mass was held in Vestal. Burial of his cremains next to his daughter, Margy, will be in Wisconsin at a later date.
Memorial tributes can be made to the John Eisch Lectureship at Binghamton University Foundation, P.O. Box 6005, Binghamton, NY 13902.
Alternatively, tell Amelia and Shae that you read this next time you see them at the Farmers Market, and they will tell you a story or two about the remarkable chemist, father, grandfather, and husband that was Jack Eisch.